Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 7)

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 >
THE DREAM LOVER by Elizabeth Berg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"A thoroughly pleasant escape, if not a particularly deep one."
Best-selling author Berg (Tapestry of Fortunes, 2013, etc.) turns her attention to the life of French writer George Sand with this vivid historical novel.Read full book review >
ADULT ONSET by Ann-Marie MacDonald
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"Despite the too-neat Freudian implications of Mary Rose's story, this is an affecting, multilayered account of domestic ennui and the painful effects of long-held secrets on three generations."
Assaulted by mysterious pains and bracketed by painful childhood memories, Mary Rose MacKinnon engages in power struggles with her willful toddler and endures the stresses of stay-at-home parenting while her partner, Hilary, is out of town. Read full book review >
LURID & CUTE by Adam Thirlwell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"Recent years have brought drug-drenched efforts from well-established artists Pynchon and Lethem. Perhaps the kindest thing one can say is that the talented Thirlwell has gotten his literary substance abuse out of his system at an earlier age."
In a pallid sort of noir, a boy-man lurches through an aimless series of small adventures and stumbles into criminal behavior that eventually exacts its comeuppance. Read full book review >
VIPER WINE by Hermione Eyre
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 14, 2015

"A promising idea swamped by the excesses of postmodernism: the random plundering of history and an irritating air of knowingness."
British journalist Eyre makes her fiction debut with the tale of a 17th-century beauty's dangerous quest for eternal youth. Read full book review >
THE GREAT WAR by Jim Kay
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 14, 2015

"Extraordinary. (Short stories. 8 & up)"
A group of celebrated writers, including Michael Morpurgo, A.L. Kennedy, David Almond and John Boyne, reflects on simple artifacts from World War I to create a collection of short stories. Read full book review >
LOVE'S ALCHEMY by Bryan Crockett
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 8, 2015

"Crockett's first foray into historical fiction is a compelling and plausible thriller."
Meet John Donne: soldier, poet, lover, husband, spy. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Mona Eltahawy
April 28, 2015

In her debut book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, Egyptian-American journalist and commentator Mona Eltahawy mounts an angry indictment of the treatment of women throughout the Arab world. Born in Egypt, she spent her childhood in London, moving with her family to Saudi Arabia when she was 15. Her shock was immediate and visceral: “It felt as though we’d moved to another planet whose inhabitants fervently wished women did not exist,” she recalls. Women could not travel, work or even go to a doctor’s appointment without male approval. We talk to Eltahawy this week on Kirkus TV about her arresting new book. View video >