Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 5)

YOUNG GOD by Katherine Faw Morris
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"Morris writes brilliantly in short, spasmodic chapters, but her vision borders on despair."
A bleak novel of poverty and drugs in rural North Carolina, reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor but without a redemptive vision. Read full book review >
THE FORGOTTEN SEAMSTRESS by Liz Trenow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"Weaving together Caroline's and Maria's journeys, Trenow meticulously stitches each piece of this engrossing story into a unified—and heartwarming—whole."
British author Trenow (The Last Telegram, 2013) methodically intertwines the lives of two women who live a century apart in a complex and poignant novel. Read full book review >

THE END OF ALWAYS by Randi Davenport
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"It's an accurate commentary about the times that, sadly, may still apply behind the closed doors of many households today."
Set in Waukesha, Wis., at the turn of the 20th century, this is a gritty yet hopeful tale about a young woman determined to escape her family's legacy of abuse. Read full book review >
THE BLESSINGS by Elise Juska
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"The author (One for Sorrow, Two for Joy, 2007, etc.) has created an ordinary fictitious family and stitched together a multilayered, sympathetic account of its members' lives."
Juska explores the collective experiences, traditions and loyalties of a close-knit family and the perspectives of individual members as they journey through a span of 30 years. Read full book review >
AN UNTAMED STATE by Roxane Gay
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"A cutting and resonant debut."
A harrowing and emotionally cleareyed vision of one woman's ordeal during and after her kidnapping in Haiti. Read full book review >

WONDERLAND by Stacey D’Erasmo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"A better-than-average rock novel that thoughtfully addresses aging, art and relationships."
An aging rock singer heads to Europe for one more attempt to reckon with her music, her father and an old flame. Read full book review >
THE SNOW QUEEN by Michael Cunningham
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"A stellar writer working on a small canvas; Cunningham has done greater work."
An apparition spotted in Central Park has a man marveling at the place of magic in our lives. Or is it all just a trick of the light? Read full book review >
THE BEES by Laline Paull
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"Paull deserves kudos for a daring idea, but the resulting work is burdened by a heavy dose of explication."
An imaginative—though not wholly successful—debut in which a beehive is a dystopian society where obedience is essential. Read full book review >
THE CONFABULIST by Steven Galloway
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"An entertaining fictional reflection on the 20th century's most famous magician that probably shouldn't be the first book one reads on the subject."
In this darkly fanciful take on the Houdini legend by the acclaimed author of The Cellist of Sarajevo (2008), the magician's life is recounted through the damaged memory of the fan who killed him with a punch to the stomach in 1926. Read full book review >
PRAYER by Philip Kerr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"Though an interesting change of scenery for the author, the novel fails to distinguish itself."
In this departure from Kerr's Nazi-era Bernie Gunther series (the Berlin Noir trilogy, etc.), Houston-based FBI agent Gil Martins investigates the mysterious deaths of a group of outspoken atheists. Read full book review >
THE UNWITTING by Ellen Feldman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"While the role of what Charlie calls "the left-wing Jewish intellectual mafia" during the Cold War remains fascinating (at least to liberal intellectuals), the schematic quality of Feldman's plot and characters limits the reader's engagement. "
A conspiracy-theory novel about spies, lies and personal loyalty set within the insulated world of left-liberal New York intellectuals during the Cold War era. Read full book review >
HISTORY OF THE RAIN by Niall Williams
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"Williams returns to home turf with a long, sentimental, affectionate poem to Irishness generally—"the best saints and the best poets and the best musicians and the world's worst bankers"—and one quirky family in particular that insists on being read at its own erratic pace."
A rambling, soft-hearted Irish family saga stuffed with eccentricity, literature, anecdotes, mythology, humor and heartbreak, from the author of Four Letters of Love (1997). Read full book review >