Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 5)

POSTCARDS FROM THE PAST by Marcia Willett
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"Once again (as in The Courtyard, 2007), a potentially intriguing fictional family history is smothered by excessive niceness."
In Willett's latest Cornwall cozy, a trio of aging siblings is threatened—but not enough—by their erstwhile stepbrother. Read full book review >
THE DIG by Cynan Jones
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"A persistently dour story that's energized by the author's command of character and mood."
A badger baiter and a farmer have an existential pas de deux in rural Wales in this slim, piercing novella, the author's first to be published in the United States. Read full book review >

THE HORSE HEALER by Gonzalo Giner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"A bit like an exotic medieval mashup of War and Peace and Oliver Twist."
Spanish novelist Giner relates the adventures of Diego de Malagón, a young albéitar, or veterinarian, during the Spanish peninsula's conflict-wracked 13th century. Read full book review >
MEDICINE WALK by Richard Wagamese
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"A powerful novel of hard men in hard country reminiscent of Jim Harrison's Legends of the Fall."
Wagamese (Dream Wheels, 2006, etc.) sends young Franklin Starlight on a "medicine walk," a journey of knowing, in this story about the nature of manhood. Read full book review >
THE GIVEN WORLD by Marian Palaia
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"An immensely rewarding read and a remarkable debut."
One woman's war. Read full book review >

WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND by Samantha Hayes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"The author likes to add a twist or two at the end, but the conclusion seems contrived and a bit too neat."
Hayes cooks up a new adventure for the least interesting character in her previous venture (Until You're Mine, 2014), British DI Lorraine Fisher.Read full book review >
DIAMOND HEAD by Cecily Wong
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"Although it reaches for an inevitability it doesn't achieve, a promising debut."
The fate and fortunes of a Sino-Hawaiian family are altered by bad romantic choices. Read full book review >
THE CHAPEL by Michael Downing
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"Photos, stick-figure sketches, comical Italian-accented English, intellectual freight, metaphors that turn literal and some good jokes pepper this novel, which is playful and erudite but also self-conscious and perhaps too restlessly rarefied."
Under the spell of Giotto's celestial frescoes in Padua, Italy, a waspish American widow grapples with the emotional and intellectual baggage left behind after her husband's death. Read full book review >
OH! YOU PRETTY THINGS by Shanna Mahin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"Mahin's writing is more thoughtful than a gossip blog and occasionally delivers something poignant or lovely but inclines toward voyeuristic pleasures."
A debut roman à clef from the wry perspective of a celebrity assistant. Read full book review >
THE RUSSIAN BRIDE by Ed Kovacs
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"Outside his familiar turf of New Orleans (Burnt Black, 2013, etc.), Kovacs focuses less on local history and more on quick, entertaining action. If he fails to develop very complex characters, that's a tradeoff for introducing so many specialists in what's clearly intended as the first of a series."
An elite military officer has to work his way through the Russian crime scene to rescue his sister and figure out how he fits into the larger scheme. Read full book review >
THE FINE ART OF FUCKING UP by Cate Dicharry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"A novel that offers a colorful and amusing portrayal of an art school's strange quirks but trudges through the unexceptional realization that happiness is rarely straightforward."
In a debut novel that wallows in the angst of being 30-something and unsatisfied with life, Dicharry pulls the reader into the strange and frequently absurd world of art school while exploring the even stranger workings of personal happiness. Read full book review >
THE WINTER FAMILY by Clifford Jackman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"Bloodletting as philosophical exercise, and not for the faint of heart."
In Jackman's allegorical Western tale, Augustus Winter, with "the strength of will, the sense of purpose, radiating off him like heat," is cut from the same bloody cloth as Blood Meridian's mysterious nihilist, Judge Holden.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >