Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1743)

ABOVE THE LOWER SKY by Tom Deitz
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Some readers—the younger and more credulous section of the audience—may find the snappy, briny antics here exhilarating; the far-fetched multiplicity of were-things will strike many others as just plain daft."
A hardcover debut from the author of numerous fantasy paperbacks (The Soulsmith trilogy, etc.). Read full book review >
THE GRAIL MURDERS by Michael Clynes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Shallot, who's clearly meant to be irresistible but is actually as tiresomely gassy as a congressional subcommittee, takes all the momentum out of a narrative that could have been whimsically or mystically effective in firmer hands."
A third helping of braggadocio from the pen of rascally old courtier and raconteur Sir Roger Shallot (The White Rose Murders, 1993, etc.). Read full book review >

GOOD BONES AND SIMPLE MURDERS by Margaret Atwood
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Readers will resent paying what averages out to about ten dollars per hour for this."
Atwood (The Robber Bride, 1993, etc.) is always at her worst when her acerbic sneer overwhelms other elements, and there is barely room for anything else in these short-short works. Read full book review >
THE PRICE OF TEA IN CHINA by E. Shaskan Bumas
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"This collection doesn't bowl you over—it gets under your skin."
In this haunting debut, Bumas explores the defining of relationships and how the quality of human intimacy reveals much about the places we call home. Read full book review >
FIVE YEARS ON A ROCK by Milton Murayama
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Cultural insight into the Hawaiian school of hard knocks, but without enough punch."
Murayama (All I Asking for Is My Body, not reviewed) takes on the persona of a Japanese ``picture bride'' sent to Hawaii to marry a stranger in this informative, if dispassionate novel. Read full book review >

PEOPLE WILL TALK by Lucianne Goldberg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Like Madame Cleo's Girls (1992), nonstop connivance without a mean bone in its body: a Mister Rogers production of Tosca."
The tragicomic accidental death of omnipotent New York gossip columnist Lolly Pines sets in motion a cheerful scramble for control of her column, access to her sources, and knowledge of the secrets that made her so powerful. Read full book review >
FINAL TOUR by Jonellen Heckler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"It is difficult not to get caught up in the waves that move this story along, even if the water being rippled is naturally stagnant. (First serial to Good Housekeeping)"
Heckler (Circumstances Unknown, 1993, etc.) conjures up another thriller that plays by familiar rules but still elicits some suspense. Read full book review >
THE MAMUR ZAPT AND THE GIRL IN THE NILE by Michael Pearce
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Pearce's pace is as deliberate and gravely amused as ever, but his uncharacteristic focus on a central mystery comes at a high price: Lacking the local color of Owen's four earlier adventures, this one is his least distinctively charming and amusing to date."
Called away from a routine arms search to examine the corpse of a young woman who's fallen from a pleasure boat moored in the Nile, Gareth Cadwallader Owen, the Mamur Zapt of 1909 Cairo (The Mamur Zapt and the Men Behind, 1993, etc.), finds that the body has already disappeared. Read full book review >
BROTHER CADFAEL'S PENANCE by Ellis Peters
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Persevere past the drumbeat of canned history in the opening chapter and you'll find the pace quickening to unfold one of Cadfael's most moving adventures, one that touches his own generous heart most closely."
The ruinous civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Maud for 12th-century England brings added heartache to Brother Cadfael (The Holy Thief, 1993, etc.) when he learns that his unacknowledged son, Olivier de Bretagne, has become a casualty. Read full book review >
A JUNKIE'S CHRISTMAS by Elisa Segrave
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"More fun than fruitcake but less exciting than a Sear's wish book."
This collection offers mostly innocuous tales of holiday festivities with a smattering of laughs, quite a few yawns, and very little genuine wisdom. Read full book review >
SISTER SAFETY PIN by Lorrie Sprecher
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"A unique voice and wry takes on feminism, sexuality, political correctness, and punk music make this startlingly sweet, albeit not too deep, debut a standout."
A down-to-earth love story with a feisty, punk-feminist, lesbian twist. Read full book review >
DINING WITH THE DICTATOR by Dany Laferrière
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Voyeurism only goes so far."
This nostalgic look at a weekend in Haiti will satisfy anyone obsessed with the sexual politics of teenage girls, but it only skims the surface of its deeper subject, a boy's rite of passage. 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 >