Milkweed Books: This spirited debut is my go-to pick lately when customers come into the store wanting a temporary respite from the news. The novel tracks the lives of a few workers and gamblers at a mysterious casino in the Pacific Northwest. The reading payoff is huge, and comes from having the story told by someone on the inside, who knows this world and can show us its grimness and its greater glories. So readable, so fun, and so wonderfully cinematic. (Roseanne)
Read the rest here

Independent Literary Fiction: The thing that will have everyone talking is the novel’s climax, though, which is cinematic and genuinely jaw-dropping. It’s perfectly set up, with all the individual threads coming together at a single point, and creating a sustained ten-page scene that is both riveting and breathless. The ultimate resolution might be a bit far for some people, particularly those who aren’t big fans of magical realism, but it’s beautifully done and ties in perfectly on a thematic level. It also made me look again at other events in the novel, reconsidering what had gone before, which is a significant achievement of plotting and editing.
Read the rest here

“Whenever my writing begins to feel boxed in, as if the words no longer possess any degree of freedom, trickling out painfully one by one, I remind myself of Grace Paley’s famous aphorism: ‘Everyone, real or imagined, deserves the open destiny of life.’ This is true for ourselves, certainly, but also for our characters and for the words through which we render their stories.”
Read the rest here

Du Maurier composed ‘Blue Lenses’ in the Cold War era, and her message proves oddly prescient—increasingly, we are scared less of the unknown, as our prehistoric ancestors may have been, and more of the known and the familiar—those around us, our friends and family, and the social institutions—schools, hospitals, churches, and government—upon which we so much rely.”
Read the rest here