October 3, 2017

Full disclosure: I love Nicole Krauss. I have a history with her. It started when I randomly bought The History of Love on the way to live in the Chilean city of Valparaiso, only to realise later that part of the novel is set there. My husband and I have bonded over her. My daughter is named after one of her characters. I am evangelical about her work in the most annoying of ways. I came to this book open, ready and determined to love it. I did not. 

I had also assumed this review would centre around around the inevitable comparisons to Jonathan Safran Foer’s latest tome Here I Am. As her ex-husband’s work –– about a pre-divorce Brooklynite coming to terms with his life, broken relationships, his understanding of Judaism and connection to Israel –– bears a certain resemblance to this book (about a pre-divorce Brooklynite coming to terms with her life, broken relationships, her understandi...

May 14, 2016

The dazzling sun at the centre of this novel is Sophie Stark; a bold, flawed, compelling character unlike any I can remember encountering in fiction recently. But, tantalisingly, her bright light is only ever glimpsed through the prism of other characters’ perception.

Sophie is a critically-acclaimed film director and maker of brutal choices. She is charismatic,  vulnerable and painfully flawed. Or at least she seems to be. Her story is told by 6 people who love her in one way or another; girlfriend, husband, brother etc, and all of her actions and mistakes are translated through their devotion to her.

Lots of press reviews are touting this as one of the ‘big books’ of 2016.  And there are certainly things about it that I like: it is stylish and interesting, I enjoyed how we get to know each of the viewpoint characters - through their descriptions of Sophie they give away much more about t...

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