Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

Review by Walter Cummins The character of Gwendolen Kelling provides a form of ballast to Kate Atkinson’s Shrines of Gaiety. It’s not that she can prevent the criminality and murders—bodies…

A Storm in the Stars by Don Zancanella

Review by Walter Cummins The presence of Mary Godwin Shelley opens and closes Don Zancanella’s intimate portrayal of the circle around Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Storm in the Stars. The…

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

Review by Brian Tanguay When Daiyu, the protagonist of Jenny Tinghui Zhang’s debut novel, Four Treasures of the Sky, is abducted from the fish market, she’s a desperately hungry thirteen-year-old…

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

Review by David Starkey Claire Keegan’s novella Small Things Like These was released just before Christmas of last year. Set in a small Irish town during Christmas 1985, the book…

The Magician by Colm Tóbín

Review by David Starkey We are clearly meant to sympathize with Thomas Mann, the title character of Colm Tóbín’s novel The Magician. A gay youth trapped in an uptight heterosexual…

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Review by David Starkey In order to truly appreciate Emily St. John Mandel’s new novel, a reader should be familiar with her two previous efforts: the groundbreaking pre-Covid pandemic novel,…

Anthem by Noah Hawley

Review by David Starkey Noah Hawley’s new novel Anthem is set in a near, scarcely alternative future. The United States is riven by partisan divide, with the Alt Right on…

Blank Pages and Other Stories by Bernard MacLaverty

Review by Walter Cummins Bernard MacLaverty’s latest story collection, his sixth, builds a thematic connection around its title story, “Blank Pages.” Frank, a writer, has been blocked since the death…

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Review by David Starkey Let’s be honest: after writing two of the best novels of the twenty-first century—The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys—it was going to be hard for…

Our Little World by Karen Winn

Review by Walter Cummins Our Little World is in several ways a deceptive novel, cleverly constructed. The opening chapters told from the perspective of pre-teen Bee—the nickname she prefers over…