RaveThe Washington PostKunzru’s graceful writing is exquisitely attuned to his material. Seth’s integrity as a narrator is so convincing that at first the frequent jumps into an uncannily familiar past feel like a counterpoint melody that will resolve by the last page. But it’s neither a clever Time and Again story of time travel nor a tricky Westworld sort of past-present parallel. White Tears is a profoundly darker and more complex story of a haunting that elucidates the iniquitous history of white appropriation of black culture.
The Stopped HeartJulie Myerson
PositiveThe New York TimesThe novel’s parallel stories are told in alternating passages, with only space breaks to indicate the shift between them, which makes keeping alert to the distinction utterly crucial. This may sound like too much work, but it’s really not. Instead, there’s a rhythm to these purposeful leaps between past and present that becomes part of the experience of reading this increasingly gripping novel, which rewards the attentive reader.
Home FireKamila Shamsie
RaveThe Washington PostShamsie excels at lovely descriptive writing of small moments ... there is no doubting that Antigone inspired her, but Home Fire succeeds without forcing this context. While Colm Tóibín’s recent (and extraordinary) novel House of Names is a retelling of Clytemnestra’s story of murder and revenge, Home Fire treats its source much more distantly. This is a haunting novel, full of dazzling moments and not a few surprising turns, that manages to be suspenseful despite its uneven momentum. When deep religious and political conflicts get personal in this story, beliefs and choices and agendas are inevitably on a fatal collision course. Home Fire blazes with the kind of annihilating devastation that transcends grief.