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A Dual Inheritance: A Novel
A Dual Inheritance: A Novel
by Joanna Hershon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.82
86 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, compelling and masterly, May 7, 2013
This sweeping, gorgeously-textured novel is the finest yet from Hershon, showcasing her unique ability to find grace and insight in the simplest of moments, the sparest of gestures. A Dual Inheritance traces the decades-long friendship between two vastly different men. Hugh Shipley is the diffident son of a patrician family who finds himself wandering through his four years at Harvard. Ed Cantowitz, the scrappy son of a former boxer and plumber, knows exactly what he wants: the world Hugh was born into. The two form an unlikely alliance, with Hugh serving as Ed's moral compass and Ed helping Hugh find motivation and purpose. Hershon recreates both their worlds--and that of 1960's Cambridge--with beauty and gentle humor, and then follows each man as their paths dramatically diverge after graduation. She explores their foibles and successes, their loves and indiscretions as they extend from Africa to Asia to Shelter Island--ultimately to be picked up by the daughters of both man, who form an unlikely alliance of their own. It's a sumptuous feast of a book, one that for me evoked Roth, Cheever and Styron at their best. Read it, and you will both lose and find yourself.


The Book of Dahlia: A Novel
The Book of Dahlia: A Novel
by Elisa Albert
Edition: Hardcover
87 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tears of both types..., June 12, 2008
I picked up this novel after hearing Elisa read at the most excellent KGB Bar in New York, and deciding--as I'm sure almost anyone else who was there did--that it was one of the funniest, most gripping readings I'd ever been to. I don't regret the purchase for an instant. Elisa Albert has one of the sharpest pens (keyboards?) I've yet encountered, and its a sharpness that cuts both ways: it makes you laugh 'til your sides split while breaking your heart. The ending was so gorgeous and inevitable and sad I read it three times, just to savor its perfection. This is not an easy book, but that's precisely why it's so essential and so brilliant. Kudos!


The German Bride: A Novel
The German Bride: A Novel
by Joanna Hershon
Edition: Hardcover
57 used & new from $0.01

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical, engrossing and entirely original..., March 25, 2008
In The German Bride, Joanna Hershon proves once more that she's one of the most unique and compelling voices in literature today--as well as one of the most daring. Her third and most accomplished novel not only explores surprising territory--the lives of German-Jewish merchants in post Civil War Santa Fe--but does it with trademark Hershon grace, elegance, and the perfect touch of spine-tingling surrealism. I found Eva Frank's unlikely journey in turns touching, illuminating, humorous and--in the end--all but impossible to put down, and the colorful (and well-researched) cast of characters that surround her--heavy-stakes gamblers, stiff-lipped French nuns, sharpshooting brothel madams, and of course the fellow Jews with whom Eva shares her Passover meals) make every chapter a discovery. I can't recommend this book highly enough!


Mudbound
Mudbound
by Hillary Jordan
Edition: Hardcover
198 used & new from $0.01

93 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A startlingly beautiful and sharp-edged debut...essential reading!, March 3, 2008
This review is from: Mudbound (Hardcover)
Hillary Jordan's first novel is a luminous, lovely and at times achingly painful depiction of America at a time of its greatest glory and shame. Set at the end of World War II, it follows the vastly different homecomings of two returning war heroes--one black, one white--to the Jim Crow south. Jordan uses deftly lyrical writing (judiciously salted with both humor and pathos) and a breathlessly brave approach to tell her story: a diverse chorus of different characters (black and white, male and female) weave their voices together in observations of race and rural farmlife in the 40's. The result is a delicately-choreographed, operatic tragedy that unrolls with graceful inevitability, culminating in a climactic scene that will reverberate for this reader (and writer) for years to come.

Here is a true new talent; a writer with the stylistic grace and social conscience of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor and the dramatic flair of Pat Conroy and Jodi Picoult. Mudbound will leave you stunned, impressed, painfully touched---and (like me!) eagerly anticipating its author's next book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 4, 2008 10:39 AM PST


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