Annie, Edward, and their young daughter, Rose, live in a cramped apartment. One night, without warning, they find a beautiful terrace hidden in their closet. It wasn't there before, and it seems to only appear when their friend Stephanie visits. A city dweller's dream come true! But every extra bit of space has a hidden cost, and the terrace sets off a seismic chain of events, forever changing the shape of their tiny home, and the shape of the world.
A capacious container for our space-related concerns ... Part of the pleasure of reading Terrace Story is figuring out how its peculiar architecture works ... There’s both something old-fashioned about these flicks of the magic-realist wand...and something distinctly of our moment ... Leichter is interested in the bewitched space of narrative itself. The fable, with tidy generic conventions but stretchy moral lessons, performs a kind of magic on the novel, giving a slim work legend-like scope ... Leichter doesn’t moralize about her craft, but her book ventures a compelling case for it: for all of us who lack superpowers, storytelling may be the surest way to grasp the elastic dimensions of life.
About family, love, loss—it’s pretty gutting throughout—but what gives it presence is the forgone conclusion that it’s all gonna be over soon ... What stands out for me about this section—this novel, really—is how well it depicts joy. Small moments—fleeting and sad in retrospect for the unhappiness they precede—but all the same: wow. It’s a lot easier to write about despair than joy ... So much of this novel—most every sentence—is freighted with subtext and implication. If you rush, you will miss all the wordplay and ideation happening throughout ... Mostly I found both the work and the novel’s perseverating on theme enjoyable—at once claustrophobic and performative as a result.
Poignant and concise ... This story does not so much unfold as expand, mushrooming beyond linear time and space to encompass not just what happens, but everything else that could have, too ... Leichter delicately stretches...longing across all four sections, not just as the impetus for space-time expansion, but as space itself, cavernous and protracted, intoxicating but desperately lonely.