OH WILLIAM! – Elizabeth Strout

My fourth read of the 2022 Booker Prize longlist was Elizabeth Strout’s Oh William! (Random House 2021).  Despite being the third in a trilogy, Oh William is crafted such that it can be read as a standalone.  Written as a fictional memoir, the novel scratches at some things I typically dislike in fiction. Not surprisingly,Continue reading “OH WILLIAM! – Elizabeth Strout”

TRUE BIZ – Sara Nović

I’ve read a lot of books in the past almost four decades, and I can say with absolute certainty that none of them were like Sara Nović’s True Biz (Random House 2022); deaf representation has been woeful absent in my literary canon.  This book is… I’m not sure I can find the words. Part teenageContinue reading “TRUE BIZ – Sara Nović”

NO HEAVEN FOR GOOD BOYS – Keisha Bush

Keisha Bush’s No Heaven for Good Boys (Random House 2020) is one of the more delicate and devastating debut novels I’ve read in a long while.  The tragedy of it is exquisitely crafted, clinging to the reader like small, dirty hands begging for money, or a hungry child suckling at his mother’s breast.  It’s aContinue reading “NO HEAVEN FOR GOOD BOYS – Keisha Bush”

SKIN OF THE SEA – Natasha Bowen

“Here is a story.  Story it is…” Billing Natasha Bowen’s Skin of the Sea (Random House 2021) as Children of Blood and Bone meets The Little Mermaid does it a bit of disservice; just because a book centers around Yoruba spirits (Orisa/Orisha) doesn’t mean it has to be compared to every other book that alsoContinue reading “SKIN OF THE SEA – Natasha Bowen”

WE WENT TO THE WOODS – Caite Dolan-Leach

I probably wouldn’t have picked up Caite Dolan-Leach’s We Went to the Woods (Random House 2019) had I seen the comparison to Donna Tartt.  I don’t know if Dolan-Leach studied the literary brat pack from Bennington, but her work is certainly reminiscent of that particular group of writers and their self-absorbed and unlikeable characters whoContinue reading “WE WENT TO THE WOODS – Caite Dolan-Leach”