Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

A GOD IN RUINS by Kate Atkinson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 5, 2015

"But do we really have just one life, as Ursula insists? It's a point worth pondering. A grown-up, elegant fairy tale, at least of a kind, with a humane vision of people in all their complicated splendor."
Fresh from the excellent Life After Life (2013), Atkinson takes another sidelong look at the natures of time and reality in this imaginative novel, her ninth.Read full book review >
VALLEY OF THE SHADOW by Ralph Peters
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 5, 2015

"A superlative novel."
Those who enjoy Bruce Catton's and Shelby Foote's Civil War histories will find a fictional equal in Peters' retelling of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign. Read full book review >

THE LOVE OBJECT by Edna O’Brien
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 5, 2015

"With an introduction by John Banville and a dedication to Philip Roth, this collection positions O'Brien among the literary heavyweights, where it confirms she belongs."
A career's selection of stories to savor. Read full book review >
ORIENT by Christopher Bollen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 5, 2015

"Skillfully written, with delightful malice aforethought."
Art, money, and ill intent collide in Interview magazine editor Bollen's (Lightning People, 2011) sophomore novel.Read full book review >
THE WONDER GARDEN by Lauren Acampora
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 5, 2015

"A cleareyed lens into the strange, human wants of upper-class suburbia."
The odd interior lives of suburban Connecticut residents are unceremoniously unearthed in the interwoven stories of Acampora's debut. Read full book review >

THE GREEN ROAD by Anne Enright
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 4, 2015

"A subtle, mature reflection on the loop of life from a unique writer of deserved international stature."
When the four adult Madigan children come home for Christmas to visit their widowed mother for the last time before the family house is sold, a familiar landscape of tensions is renewed and reordered. Read full book review >
MINNOW by James E. McTeer II
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2015

"An evocative novel that brings to life an intensely realized portrait of the South Carolina Lowcountry and sends its appealing young hero on a journey full of the strangeness of childhood and the difficult choices that come with growing up."
A young boy sets out on an almost mythical quest through a vividly imagined American South in this debut novel. Read full book review >
THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH by Martha Brockenbrough
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 28, 2015

"Race, class, fate and choice—they join Love and Death to play their parts in Brockenbrough's haunting and masterfully orchestrated narrative. (Magical realism. 12 & up)"
A lovingly realized Depression-era Seattle becomes the field of play for the latest round in the titular, age-old game. Read full book review >
MY STRUGGLE by Karl Ove Knausgaard
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 28, 2015

"An entertaining portrait of the artist as a young lout."
The narrator of the six-volume memoir-novel confronts his late teens, in which he defies his father by behaving much like him. Read full book review >
THE LAST BOOKANEER by Matthew Pearl
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 28, 2015

"Pearl is a smooth writer whose adoption of the ambling pace, digressions, and melodrama of an earlier literary era may not suit today's instant gratifiers, but he offers many of the charms and unrushed distractions of a favorite old bookstore."
An entertaining adventure tale steeped in literary history tells of rival book pirates seeking their biggest prize, the last novel of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94). Read full book review >
THE MIRACLE GIRL by Andrew Roe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 21, 2015

"Lively, pitch-perfect and assured. Readers will be wanting to hear more from this writer."
Personal tragedy meets the tragedy of our time in Roe's winning debut novel. Read full book review >
THE THRILLING ADVENTURES OF LOVELACE AND BABBAGE by Sydney Padua
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 21, 2015

"A prodigious feat of historically based fantasy that engages on a number of levels."
An audaciously imagined alternate history of the invention of the computer—in 19th-century Victorian England. 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 >