While this pacing feels uneven at first, it starts to feel more deliberate as the new couple's relationship takes off; The Arc is a romance novel, but even more so a story of self-discovery and womanhood, of Ursula coming into her own both as an individual and as one half of a perfectly happy couple ... Hoen's attention to the detail of Ursula's life provides ample opportunity for humorous and cutting insights into corporate life, modern-day dating, ridiculous venture capital investments and the absurd consumerism of the wellness world (among other topics). It's a lot to pack into one novel, but the frame of the Arc as 'relationship architecture' holds it all together along the way, resulting in a delightful debut about love and dating and modern womanhood that asks as many questions about self-determination and free will as it answers.
First-time novelist Hoen draws on her experiences at glossy magazines and a women’s workwear start-up to perform her agile trend-skewering as she details their romance and the complications that threaten it at an indulgently hypnotic length, until the twist, or arc, arrives. With giddy hilarity and stabs to the heart, Hoen’s heady cocktail of satire and celebration is a delectable addition to the dating-app and matchmaking rom-com list.
... introspective ... The long wait for the romance to start makes this unusual genre fare, but Hoen raises some fascinating questions about love and relationships and ends on an optimistic note that will please romance fans. The result is as thoughtful as it is thought-provoking.