Reba Melinda Leiding

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PREMIUM

The Complicities

This enjoyable novel is filled with intriguing characters, whom D’Erasmo wrangles with deft changes of viewpoint, and the prose abounds with lyrical imagery. But its particular strength is its examination of that liminal space between innocence and culpability, leaving readers to judge whether these characters are as innocent as they want to believe.
PREMIUM

Trust

Both historical and postmodern, this novel gives readers the task of interpreting its multiple parts and narrators, making it an intriguing, stimulating read. Throughout, Diaz’s stirring prose and unforgettable imagery shine through, notably in his poetic descriptions of high finance. He also holds a mirror up to the oligarchs of our own era, reflecting their greed and fragile egos. Highly recommended.

No Land To Light On

Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

White on White

From a lesser writer, this storytelling technique would be fraught with peril, but in her follow-up to Walking on the Ceiling Savas offers a novel as smooth and compact as an alabaster egg, its prose filled with thoughtful sentences and psychological insights. An engaging yet calming read, as soothing as a talk with a sympathetic therapist.

The Book of Mother

In this touching tribute to her eccentric mother’s life and death, which also offers a wild view of swinging Paris during the 1960s and 1970s, Huisman is sardonic, furious, and sometimes humorous but always affectionate toward her mother. Her prose seems urgent, pulling the reader along, as if she’s trying to outrun her grief. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

The Vixen

Prose’s (Lovers at the Chameleon Club) exuberant, lighthearted novel immerses the reader in 1950s ambience, yet it’s full of winks and nods to the current political climate. Simon, our overheated narrator, pulls us along as he stumbles into Cold War intrigue, and we’re never sure which way the plot will turn until literally the last sentence. What a delightful read!
PREMIUM

Antiquities

Ozick’s 30th published work (she is in her 90s) gently evokes the loneliness, helplessness, and regrets of old age. The novel initially seems a wisp of a story, but scattered within are clues that add layers of meaning to Petrie’s faded memories, as well as the impact of his own barely acknowledged anti-Semitism on his life’s trajectory.
PREMIUM

Betty

In McDaniel’s telling, members of this hardscrabble family stride through their Ohio community like minor gods, leaving amazement in their wake. Highly recommended; a coming-of-age novel that is a treat for lovers of stylistic prose. [See Prepub Alert, 1/15/20.]

American Follies

Besides playing with historical figures and themes, Lock’s novels stretch the limits of literary conventions. Those unfamiliar with the series may expect more reality with their history, but once you accept that the novel is a wild ride, hang on for the fun. Highly recommended, especially for readers of the series.

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