Part family saga, part historical fiction, and a big love song to Ireland, Transatlantic is an emotional…
The publisher’s letter to the reader in the front of my review copy of Woke Up Lonely suggests there are two ways to read the novel: speedily while being propelled by the action or taking one’s time to savor Maazel’s precision, wit, and prose. In my first reading I attempted the speed method but kept being foiled by the prose. I got to the end feeling supremely annoyed. Who is this Fiona Maazel anyway, I thought, and why is she considered to be so hot?
Jesse’s voice is a raw and naked scream of anger, anxiety, and longing. Because Jesse’s mother was so busy flitting around the world working for social justice, she and her sister were mostly raised by an African American nanny Now approaching 40 and having endured years of fertility treatments and In Vitro Fertilization, she and her husband Ramon have resigned themselves to adoption. The process only gets more complex and nerve wracking as it sends them into new rollercoasters of hopes raised and dashed.
I first read JCO in the late 1980s. Languishing in Los Angeles, where I was involved in an attempt to “go straight” after years of rebellion and excess by taking a course in management training, I haunted a used bookstore on Franklin Avenue and picked up Marya: A Life (1986). Plunged into a world of impoverished grit and abuse that shocked my soul, I began to suffer from delusions of being followed by creepy people. I even managed to get mugged one evening. The novel reawakened all my deepest childhood fears.
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