Jo’s Book Reviews
What I’m Reading…. I belong to two book clubs so am always trying to get some reading done and be ready for the lively discussion I know will be the focus of the meetings.
…intricate, cunning and consistently surprising…. — NEW YORK TIMES
Trust is an ingeniously constructed historical novel with a postmodern point. Throughout, Diaz makes a connection between the realms of fiction and finance. — NPR
Jo’s notes: I should have actively disliked this book—I am not a fan of gimmicks or dense narration. But the truth is I loved it—the four POV sections weaving a tale that kept me turning pages.
Please do not let any other review or well-meaning friend give away this novel’s stunning evolution. A great portion of its magic lies in how it turns a radical corner, gaining speed and burning urgency — then slowly becoming something else: deeper, denser, wiser. Readers will (and should) trust it to take us where we need to go — even if not where we expected. — WASHINGTON POST
A persuasive, quietly satisfying portrait of a woman’s midlife crisis and the essential choices she makes. — KIRKUS
Jo’s notes: I was impatient with this at first because it read like a genre romance novel and frankly, I am finding more female protagonists of a certain age stereotypical. That said, I stayed up all night to finish it!
Review of THE NIX:
“Hill is such a gifted and tenderhearted storyteller that “The Nix” doesn’t need these postmodern digressions and gimmicks….. Then again, if his primary aim was to represent, in all its tragicomic contradictions, the devolution of a country that could conceivably elect Donald J. Trump as its next president, perhaps chaotic, surrealist excess was the only choice to make in this supersize and audacious novel of American misadventure.”—NY TIMES REVIEW
Reviews of Hill’s latest novel, WELLNESS:
“Hill blends a family chronicle with cultural critique in his expansive and surprisingly tender latest . . . This stunning novel of ideas never loses sight of its humanity.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“Warmhearted . . . A bittersweet novel of love gained, lost, and regained over the course of decades.”—KIRKUS REVIEWS
Jo’s Notes: I read the debut novel when it first came out several years ago. I rarely reread anything (so many books—so little time) but decided to take another look at this when it was selected by my book club. I have not regretted the decision, and look forward to reading his newest work.
“With lean prose and assured storytelling, this debut novel describes a family fractured by geography, ambition and the ripple effects of China’s tumultuous 20th-century history.”—NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW (NEW AND NOTEWORTHY)
“Feng’s striking debut novel chronicles what happens to a young Chinese family in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. Feng captures humor and grief in equal measures…and she elegantly references Chinese concepts of fate and luck while building toward a poignant conclusion. This resonates from page one.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Jo’s Notes: Quiet, elegant, moving.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE 2023 EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL • NEW YORK TIMES BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR
“Defiantly populated with living women . . . beautifully drawn, dense with detail and specificity . . . Notes on an Execution is nuanced, ambitious and compelling.” —Katie Kitamura, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW (Editors’ Choice)
Jo’s Notes: A touch read but worth the journey.
Jo’s notes: prepare to learn more about the inside workings of the Supreme Court and Washington politics in general than you could ever have imagined in your high school Civics class!