Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1759)

FASHIONABLY LATE by Olivia Goldsmith
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"This novel works. (First printing of 150,000; $175,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
Goldsmith established her fertile turf in The First Wives Club (1991) and hasn't let up since; here she presents another witty, venomous tale of female resourcefulness in the face of breathtaking male duplicity, set in Manhattan's sophisticated fashion industry. Read full book review >
A BETTER PLACE by Barbara Hall
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"The characters, the readers, and especially the author (whose solid abilities we hope will lead to more exciting books) would all be better off if they left Maddock."
Rural backbiting and stagnation don't create much excitement in a mild adult debut by the author of Fool's Hill (1992) and other YA titles. Read full book review >

FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"A marvelous collection that deserves a wide audience."
Eleven stories by 19th-century women writers that editor Koppelman convincingly argues are about romantic lesbian love. Read full book review >
SIDESHOW by Anne D. LeClaire
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Surprisingly stirring."
The author of Grace Point (1992) here crafts an exquisite novel of suspense and redemption. Read full book review >
TRUE STORY by Bill Maher
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Otherwise, nice try, Mr. Maher, but don't give up your comedy job."
A miss-and-hit portrayal of the stand-up comedy scene, circa 1979, by comedian Maher, the sardonic host of Comedy Central's Politically Incorrect. Read full book review >

EMPRESS by Evelyn McCune
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"We meet many characters, but few other than Jao display any depth."
A romp through the tumultuous life of Wu Jao, China's only empress. Read full book review >
THE LADIES' LUNCH by Patricia O’Brien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"O'Brien weakens her effort by going over the edge into melodrama, but she manages to be both topical and engrossing by covering everything from sexual harassment to managed health care and euthanasia."
Political journalist turned novelist O'Brien (The Candidate's Wife, 1992) again pens a DC-based soap opera, this one about the mysterious death of a powerful Washington woman and its effect on her four friends. Read full book review >
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND by Yvonne Nelson Perry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Here you have it: a meeting of Jorge Luis Borges and Joseph Campbell, set against a backdrop of lais and luaus."
These 15 minuscule, deceptively casual stories (by an author previously published in small literary journals) might not be great literature, but many have deep, and sometimes haunting, echoes. Read full book review >
THE HOMING by John Saul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"A skillful manipulation of primal fears about the natural world and the corruption of innocence."
In his contrived but fast-paced thriller, bestselling novelist Saul (Guardian, 1993) does for insects what Hitchcock's The Birds did for our feathered friends. Read full book review >
PASSION by I.U. Tarchetti
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"The editorial apparatus hardly matters: In Fosca, Tarchetti has created an exasperating yet alluring character sure to be remembered long after the affair has ended."
Tarchetti's striking novel (titled Fosca in Italian) has it all—obsession, deception, sex, death, and passion in many ineluctable forms—but not until Stephen Sondheim turned it into a musical did someone bother to translate this fine 19th-century work into English. Read full book review >
THE TOTAL ZONE by Martina Navratilova
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"First of a series that has a ways to go before it's ready for the Grand Slam."
In the five years since a stinging Wimbledon defeat sent her into retirement, physical therapist Jordan Myles has learned to turn a colder eye on the pro tennis tour. Read full book review >
GRAILS by Richard Gilliam
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"One Grails is plenty, two is an overdose."
Companion to, and continuation of, the first and fairly mediocre Grails (p. 102). 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 >