Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

SHAME AND THE CAPTIVES by Thomas Keneally
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"The somewhat didactic title doesn't do the book justice, and the occasional overwriting can be distracting. Nevertheless, Keneally blends history, romance and wartime intrigue in a remarkable piece of historical fiction with a strong sense of place and time."
In 1944, a group of Japanese POWs escaped from a prison camp in a rural Australian town. Keneally's latest historical novel relates the lead-up to this event from the perspectives of many characters, including Japanese and Italian prisoners, the camp's commanders and several residents of the town. Read full book review >
LUCKY ALAN by Jonathan Lethem
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"Lethem's humor ranges from rueful to sly to 'big silly,' and his careful, mostly unshowy writing has a gift for charming a reader into almost anything."
These nine stories by a leading American writer almost all bend away from realism, and one goes well into fantasy, while offering choice prose and insights. Read full book review >

THE AMERICAN LOVER by Rose Tremain
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 23, 2015

"Wholly enthralling, these stories gleam with human desire and malice and hope as they move between Tolstoy's Russia, World War II France and present-day London."
Loneliness and lust eddy through the pages of a dexterous collection of short stories by Tremain (Merivel, 2013, etc.).Read full book review >
THE INFERNAL by Mark Doten
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 17, 2015

"Doten's dazzling novel shows off his intellect and facility with language."
Doten makes his fiction debut with a semihistorical novel—the kind of book people label "postmodern" because they don't know what else to call it. Read full book review >
A SPOOL OF BLUE THREAD by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"The texture of everyday experience transmuted into art."
Tyler's 20th novel (The Beginner's Goodbye, 2012, etc.) again centers on family life in Baltimore, still a fresh and compelling subject in the hands of this gifted veteran.Read full book review >

THE MARBLE ORCHARD by Alex Taylor
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"A brilliant debut."
Short story writer Taylor's first novel is a hillbilly noir employing literary language to explore the dark corners of human frailty. Read full book review >
THE WONDERS by Paddy O'Reilly
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"The impossible slides skillfully into the believable here; O'Reilly's delightful novel never shirks its responsibility to emotional truth as it tells a story about being known and being different."
In a novel that feels both sharply realistic and wildly, indelibly imaginative, O'Reilly (The Fine Color of Rust, 2012, etc.) offers a story about the stars of an impossible, glamorous freak show that sidesteps any expectations of sentimental quirk with wit and deep feeling.Read full book review >
SHE WEEPS EACH TIME YOU'RE BORN by Quan Barry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"While Barry's beautiful, transporting novel sometimes verges on the opaque, it pays resonant tribute to the uncounted dead below the surface of a convulsed nation."
A magical child pulled from her mother's coffin observes and embodies Vietnam's tragic 20th-century history. Read full book review >
LIES, FIRST PERSON by Gail Hareven
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"A rich and harrowing novel with plenty to say about religion and authorship."
An Israeli woman plots revenge against the relative who raped her sister—and wrote an imagined autobiography of Adolf Hitler besides—in a coruscating novel about faith and family. Read full book review >
MY SUNSHINE AWAY by M.O. Walsh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Celebrate, fiction lovers: The gods of Southern gothic storytelling have inducted a junior member."
The 1989 rape of a 15-year-old golden girl profoundly alters her suburban Baton Rouge neighborhood and all those who love her. Read full book review >
HEAD OF STATE by Andrew Marr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 5, 2015

"Witty. Imaginative. Irreverent."
Now that the Scottish independence brouhaha has been settled, the question of the U.K.'s European Union membership is next on the agenda. Marr's (The Real Elizabeth, 2011, etc.) wickedly funny first novel, set in 2017, takes up the battle.Read full book review >
SINGLE, CAREFREE, MELLOW by Katherine Heiny
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"These young women are sympathetic and slyly seductive, sometimes selfish and maddeningly un-self-aware, but they are beguilingly human, and readers will yield to their charms."
Heiny explores sex, relationships and the internal lives of young women in this charmingly candid collection of short stories. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Pierce Brown
author of GOLDEN SON
February 17, 2015

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, Pierce Brown’s genre-defying Red Rising hit the ground running. The sequel, Golden Son, continues the saga of Darrow, a rebel battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom. As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. “Stirring—and archetypal—stuff,” our reviewer writes. View video >