Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 9)

NOAH'S WIFE by Lindsay Starck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Forget the ark, forget the patriarch. It's the women who tend to triumph in this modern take on an Old Testament parable."
There's an endless amount of rain, animals from a once-renowned and now ruined zoo, various boats, and a man of God named Noah. But this isn't your average biblical flood scenario. Read full book review >
GOOD ON PAPER by Rachel Cantor
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"In this feat of a novel, knowledge is a tiny first step on the way to understanding."
A translator struggles to redefine her work, her family, and her sense of self. Read full book review >

LAY DOWN YOUR WEARY TUNE by W.B. Belcher
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A little more variation from expectation would have been welcome. Still, a well-intended and welcome first effort."
Musicians can be a handful. Even folk musicians. That's not news—but it's news you can use, courtesy of Belcher's modest debut. Read full book review >
THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE by Melanie Benjamin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Elegant Babe's thoughts, if not her lips, are unsealed at last. Those unaware of the scandal get CliffsNotes; and everyone else gets a chance to judge whether a swan's muteness can be more interesting than her gripe."
Class, cliques, and cattiness converge in this New York fable based on the lives of Truman Capote and his greatest fan, Babe Paley. Read full book review >
UNSPEAKABLE THINGS by Kathleen Spivack
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Well written but ill-conceived."
In poet/memoirist Spivack's first novel (With Robert Lowell and His Circle, 2012, etc.), magic realism is used to explore the plight of post-World War II Jewish refugees in Manhattan. Read full book review >

THE UNFINISHED WORLD by Amber Sparks
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 25, 2016

"Stylish and deeply imagined."
A collection of elliptical stories in which death throws a long shadow over an eclectic group of characters. Read full book review >
THE ILLEGAL by Lawrence Hill
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 25, 2016

"The settings may be imaginary, but the perils rendered here are as real as the front-page stories in this morning's newspaper about refugees desperate for safety in Western countries reluctant to welcome them."
A Commonwealth Award-winning writer threatens to make readers of this breakneck thriller as out-of-breath as its long-distance-running hero. Read full book review >
Fill The Stadium by K.M. Daughters
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 22, 2016

"An effective modern-day romance about two people brought together by the tragedy of a child's illness."
A contemporary novel focuses on a tenderhearted football star who helps out an emotionally wounded single mother. Read full book review >
TJ’s Last Summer in Cape Cod by Garfield Whyte
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 21, 2016

"Strives for—and sometimes achieves—complexities that surpass superficial teenage drama."
Trust is broken and intrigues are explored in this coming-of-age novel about a young man. Read full book review >
REPERCUSSIONS by Anthony Schneider
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 20, 2016

"A thoughtful look back at one of the great movements for social and political change of the last century and its ramifications in the present through the life of one man. It will reward readers interested in South African history as well as those who simply want to be drawn into the well-told story of an unusual life."
From anti-apartheid revolutionary to aging exile, Henry Wegland struggles to balance truth and justice, love and passion; in this gentle and heartfelt first novel, nothing is black and white. Read full book review >
THE UNDOING by Averil Dean
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 20, 2016

"Dean follows her startling debut (Alice Close Your Eyes, 2013) with an even more assured tour de force that peels back layer after dreadful layer from her characters in a way that really does produce pity and terror."
A Chinese box of a thriller, structured by a series of ever more distant flashbacks, that digs back, back, back into the past to uncover the reason for the deaths of an indelible ménage à trois.Read full book review >
REAL TIGERS by Mick Herron
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Even readers who don't care for the endless bureaucratic infighting will have to admire this tour de force, in which virtually every single player—good guys, bad guys, all the turncoats and in-betweeners—is somehow connected to British Intelligence."
The abduction of one of their own rouses the members of MI5's dead-end Slough House (Dead Lions 2013, etc.) to action once more. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >