From the popular Czech writer (I Served the King of England, 1989; Too Loud a Solitude, 1990), two more novels filled with wit, life, hyperbole, history—and pathos. Long ago, a young wife named Mary has hair that's long and golden and a young husband, Francin, who's manager of a brewery in a little town where the beer is distributed by two big dray horses named Ede and Kare (who sometimes break away for a wild run, their hooves tossing sparks). Life goes on normally enough for the loving Mary and Francin until Uncle Pepin comes to visit (and stays for life)—after which comedy, cross-purposes, and happy (usually) misdirections become the rule. Uncle Pepin's very elements are life, energy, lust, swagger, and comic mischief, and between him and young Mary, a counterbalance to the more earnest if lovable Francin is formed, at least until new times come around, radio is invented, styles change, and ``Everything is going to have to be shortened''—including Mary's long golden hair, a loss by barbering that turns life upside down, at least for a minute or two. So ends Cutting It Short, succeeded by The Little Town Where Time Stood Still, which opens eight years later, looks backward into history under Austria's rule while coming forward through WW II, and finds Uncle Pepin's spirit pitiably waning as Francin's waxes—and as Communism arrives ``and some other kind of time began.'' Francin's old love of motors and trucks will give him a happy new life as distributor of vegetables and other goods—until an empty militarism brings calamity, followed by the piteous death of the faded Uncle Pepin and, from Hrabal, a concluding elegy for times past and gone that ranks with the most sweetly moving ever—period. Lyric, poetic, political novels so entirely filled with imagination and life—and tears—that they burst wonderfully and gloriously at the seams.

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 1993

ISBN: 0-679-42225-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.


In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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