WHAT WE SET IN MOTION: Delightful Debut

WHAT WE SET IN MOTION: Delightful Debut

What We Set in Motion (March 2016) is the award-winning debut novel by former dancer Stephanie Austin Edwards. This coming-of-age novel is a delightful read about a young woman named Nadine Carter Barnwell who braves the unknown to follow her dancing dreams, despite her father’s objections and her personal misgivings. Initially set in the Lowcountry […]

One of My Favorite Books of 2016

One of My Favorite Books of 2016

The cleverly titled Spill Simmer Falter Wither (March 2016) by Sara Baume is already one of my favorite books of 2016. Quiet, intense books appeal to me, particularly when the language is so gorgeously evocative that I need to stop and reread sentences just for the pleasure of their sound. A troubled man adopts a […]

Reviewer Critiques Strout’s New Novel

Reviewer Critiques Strout’s New Novel

Known for her blockbuster hit Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout’s new novel, My Name is Lucy Barton (January 2016), a slender volume of 191 pages, is a playbook for compression and concision. It’s full of perfect sentences and wise observations, the work of a brilliant novelist attempting to probe beneath the places where mere language usually takes […]

PREPUB Alert: Discover Great New Writers Spring Title

PREPUB Alert: Discover Great New Writers Spring Title

I love a good family story. Throw in some dysfunction and I’m there! Reading the synopsis for Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s debut, The Nest (March 2016), I knew this was a book for me. The novel opens at a wedding where, in a drug-induced stupor, Leo Plumb leaves behind his wife Victoria and takes a waitress […]

Talented New Voice in Literary Fiction

Talented New Voice in Literary Fiction

At first glance We Love You, Charlie Freeman (March 2016) is a coming-of-age story about a family hired to live with a chimpanzee as part of a language experiment, but behind it is the disturbing story of race relations in America. Parts of this novel were difficult to read. The scientific interpretation of race relations […]

Media Fire Ignites Riveting Memoir

Media Fire Ignites Riveting Memoir

  Deanna Fei’s memoir, Girl in Glass (July 2015), is as riveting and heart stopping as any thriller on the bestseller list. The difference is that Fei’s story is true, her account of giving birth to a one-pound, nine-ounce daughter, who, at 25 gestational weeks, would struggle for life in a NICU isolette for months […]

THE WIDOW: Smart, Psychological Thriller

THE WIDOW: Smart, Psychological Thriller

Barton’s debut novel The Widow (February 2016) is a fantastic example of a smart psychological thriller. It contained all of my favorite things of this genre—narrators with questionable reliability, carefully crafted shifts in time, and slowly revealed secrets. The opening scene features a confident, no-nonsense reporter name Kate Waters who arrives at Jean Taylor’s doorstep […]

Interconnected Story Collection is Full of Treasures

Interconnected Story Collection is Full of Treasures

In Patrick Dacey’s We’ve Already Gone This Far (February 2016), the residents of a small working-class New England town are looking for meaning in their lives as the world around them shifts uncomfortably. Through a rich and poignant debut story collection, Dacey delivers the search for hope that propels us to get up in the […]

BREAKING WILD: Heart-Pounding Life and Death Literary Thriller

BREAKING WILD: Heart-Pounding Life and Death Literary Thriller

If a book is supposed to transport you to a foreign land, Diane Les Becquets wonderful debut novel, Breaking Wild (February 2016), took this east coast, nature-fearing reviewer to the wilderness of Western Colorado in a heart-pounding life and death literary thriller that had me searching the ground for cougar scat and checking the batteries […]