Reviews : Fiction

‘Bright Lights of Summer’ by Lynn Ames

When Julie Newsome meets Theodora “Dizzy” Hosler in the opening pages of Bright Lights of Summer, she’s looking for information to better understand her recently deceased mother. Dizzy never knew Julie’s mother, but Julie has another motive for contacting Diz. She wants to write about women in softball in the 1940s and she hopes Diz… read more

'Daydreamers' by Jonathan Harper

Jonathan Harper’s debut collection Daydreamers is aptly named: each story contains the ruminations of young men drifting through their lives, either making bad choices or failing to choose… read more

‘Call Me Home’ by Megan Kruse

Call Me Home, as the title implies, focuses very strongly on the idea of home. It’s place-based for sure, but in this novel, who we call home is even more important…. read more

‘Aquarium’ by David Vann

Ultimately, the characters in Aquarium are desperately struggling to move toward forgiveness and redemption—it’s a story you can’t help but be submerged in completely… read more

'Don’t Let Him Know' by Sandip Roy

Sandip Roy’s Don’t Let Him Know is a multi-generational story venturing deep into the hidden pasts of a single family over the course of decades…. read more

'The Evening Chorus' by Helen Humphreys

The power of The Evening Chorus is accumulation: a plot that unfolds at a comfortable pace, characters that feel usual, even ordinary, and thus interesting in their familiarity, and exquisite sentences… read more

'Jam on the Vine' by LaShonda Katrice Barnett

Jam on the Vine will resonate with many kinds of readers in myriad ways. Not only is it a well-researched and historically accurate account of southern African American survival, northern migration, and identity formation, it is an arresting real-world allegory…. read more

'The First Bad Man' by Miranda July

July’s talent exists in her ability to create such complex, bizarre relationships while always raising the stakes, but her carefully erected world does require a willful suspension of disbelief…. read more

'Nora Webster' by Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín’s latest novel, Nora Webster, has landed on multiple best of the year lists. It’s a fitting tribute for a book that is largely about taking stock…. read more