Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

MORNING AND EVENING by Jon Fosse
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 4, 2015

"A brief yet dense contemplative sketch weighted with spiritual touches."
A fisherman confronts his life, loves, and mortality in this elliptical, somber novella. Read full book review >
Those Bones at Goliad by Judith Austin Mills
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 7, 2015

"Texas history on a broad, complex scale."
A sweeping tale of 19th-century Texas. Read full book review >

DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY by Bill Clegg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"An attempt to map how the unbearable is borne, elegantly written and bravely imagined."
Hours before a wedding, a fire kills the bride, the groom, her father, and her mother's boyfriend. Read full book review >
THE FIREBUG OF BALROG COUNTY by David Oppegaard
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"An unusual coming of age, sparking a hot if not quite perfect conflagration. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Take one angry 18-year-old, sprinkle with zingy narrative, and add a match. Read full book review >
FEAR OF DYING by Erica Jong
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Not without its moments."
Jong's first novel since Sappho's Leap (2003).Read full book review >

THIS IS YOUR LIFE, HARRIET CHANCE! by Jonathan Evison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Evison writes humanely and with good humor of his characters, who, like the rest of us, muddle through, too often without giving ourselves much of a break. A lovely, forgiving character study that's a pleasure to read."
Insightful, richly entertaining look at a woman who, very late in the game, finds that life remains full of surprises. Read full book review >
THE COURTESAN by Alexandra Curry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"The patchy but brightly detailed story of a woman's efforts to be 'curious and virtuous and wise' despite the oppressive forces surrounding her."
Part tragic fairy tale, part historical overview, this novel is based on the life of legendary Chinese courtesan Jinhua, who's already been the subject of Chinese operas, ballets, and plays. Read full book review >
LOVE LOVE by Sung J. Woo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"A writer of deep pathos and empathy, Woo (Everything Asian, 2009) has given us a deeply felt novel of parents and children, husbands and wives—the many ways we try to connect and fail; and how sometimes, somehow, we succeed."
As their father's body is ravaged by illness, two siblings try to recover from failed marriages and rebuild their lives. Read full book review >
THE CHILD GARDEN by Catriona McPherson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"McPherson's newest stand-alone (Come to Harm, 2015, etc.) is a stunning combination of creepy thriller and classic mystery with a startling denouement."
A divorced woman with a severely disabled teenage son gets sucked into a mystery that will change her forever. Read full book review >
ABOVE THE WATERFALL by Ron Rash
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"For once this major American writer appears, uncharacteristically, to have veered off course."
For his sixth novel, Rash (The Cove, 2012, etc.) plays a park ranger's past traumas against a sheriff's present crises. Read full book review >
CRIES FOR HELP, VARIOUS by Padgett Powell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Powell has great fun with abstraction that harks back to Barthelme and the Modernists, though not every riff registers."
A playful and provoking clutch of stories that forces words and themes into unfamiliar territory. Read full book review >
THE DOUBLE LIFE OF LILIANE by Lily Tuck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Metafiction that pleases and frustrates in equal measure."
A ton of factual information complements the fiction in National Book Award winner (The News From Paraguay, 2004) Tuck's sixth novel, a family history in mosaic form. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >