PositiveThe Boston GloveThere is a slightly desultory effect to God Help the Child, with multiple stories being told ... Many novels in the Morrison canon have employed magical realism, and there are elements of this in God Help the Child ... But despite such gestures, this is a novel rooted in the real world of violence, prejudice, and abuse. Indeed, the true magical moments in the novel arise when Morrison hits her stride...
The VegetarianHan Kang
PositiveThe Boston Globe...this is a deceptive novel, its canvas much larger than the mild social satire that one initially imagines. Kang has bigger issues to raise — the effects of childhood abuse, the damage caused by loveless unions, the patriarchy that victimizes both men and women, and finally, the question of whether women have claim to their own bodies.
A Thousand Splendid SunsKhaled Hosseini
PositiveThe Boston Globe… a heartfelt, well-realized character study of two women and a lament for the tortured history of the author's native Afghanistan … The marvel of A Thousand Splendid Suns – the title comes from a description of Kabul by a 17th-century Persian poet – lies in the fact that although much of the narrative unfolds in the cloistered, oppressive world of Rasheed's home, where the two women eventually join forces against his tyranny, the novel ends up as an allegory of a fractured society that has come apart at the seams … Splendid Suns achieves a kind of epic, operatic quality at the end, where the full extent of the two women's love for each other is tested and one of them rises beautifully and tragically to the challenge.
The Golden HouseSalman Rushdie
PositiveThe Boston Globe[Rushdie] flits from the Romans to the Beatles, from The Odyssey to Obamacare, from Sophocles to Michael Jackson, with the same ease that his protagonist, Nero Golden, moves from Bombay to New York ... The Golden House reads like the work of an older, more jaded novelist, and the work itself often muses on the nexus between public and personal corruptions. The real-life rise of a politician Rushdie nicknames The Joker (much as he had once called a certain Indian female politician The Widow), has clearly rattled him. And yet, this is a recognizably Rushdie novel in its playfulness, its verbal jousting, its audacious bravado, its unapologetic erudition, and its sheer, dazzling brilliance ... Paradoxically, the novel’s weak spot is in its recounting of the 2016 election and its aftermath. Rushdie’s journalistic narration cannot match the period’s surrealness and rather than rising to the level of myth or allegory, his reportage occasionally resembles the language of countless Facebook posts.