From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Nunez deftly explores family strife and immigrant identity in her vivid latest. When Anna Sinclair, a New York City book editor, takes a vacation to her parents' home in the Caribbean, she discovers that her mother, Beatrice, has advanced breast cancer. Beatrice rejects all suggestions that she be treated in the U.S.—she believes that, as a black woman, she'll receive second-rate care—leaving Anna and her father, John, to tread lightly between respecting Beatrice's wishes and steering her toward what is best for her. As a prominent black family on a largely white island, the Sinclairs are used to straddling two worlds, and Anna's mother's fears cause Anna to examine her thoughts about race. Fiction best achieves the universal through the specific. It is by telling stories that are plausible, about characters who are believable, that the writer eases us in to exploring the many facets of the human condition, Anna thinks at one point. Nunez meets these guidelines and more with expressive prose and convincing characters that immediately hook the reader. (Sept.)
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Nunez, an award-winning author of seven novels (e.g., Prospero's Daughter ), has created a moving and insightful character study while delving into the complexities of identity politics. Highly recommended for fiction collections --Library Journal *Starred Review*--August 15, 2009
Traveling back to her Caribbean island home on vacation from her high-pressure job as a book editor in Manhattan, Anna Sinclair is predisposed to be at odds with the vast dichotomy between her two worlds. Not only does the languid pace of tropical life take some adjustment but Anna is perennially frustrated by the fractious relationship with her mother, taking quick umbrage at the hypercritical woman's subtle faultfinding. So it goes until the day when her normally proper and reserved mother swallows her pride and reveals the hideous lump that has deformed her breast. Shocked by her mother's life-threatening condition, appalled by her father's seeming indifference to his wife's deteriorating health, Anna struggles to convince her parents to return with her to New York, where her mother can receive proper care. Mostly eschewing her traditional, sweeping themes of race and class structure within the colonialism of island culture, Nunez (Prospero's Daughter, 2006) offers a more intimate portrait of the unknowable secrets and indelible ties that bind husbands and wives, mothers and daughters. --Booklist--August 1, 2009
The title of her latest novel suggests a sit-com, or the upbeat identity lit marketed to teenagers. But Elizabeth Nunez layers "Anna In-Between," a psychologically and emotionally astute family portrait, with dark themes like racism, cancer and the bittersweet longing of the immigrant. Foremost, she explores the late innings of a successful marriage, in which husband and wife cling together in the shadow of mortality. --New York Times Book Review, September 13, 2009 (Editors Choice)
--Ms. Magazine --"The award-winning author of Prospero's Daughter has written a novel more intimate than her usual big-picture work; this moving exploration of immigrant identity has a protagonist caught between race, class and a mother's love."