The year has just begun and Richard Power’s stunning new novel Orfeo will certainly end up on…
Our Frail Blood by Peter Nathaniel Malae, is a brilliant, heroically Catholic novel. Dense, Proustian in its savor of the quality of time and its lost chances. Emphatically West Coast in its culture, in a way that convinces us that there really is a distinct West Coast culture. And it exemplifies what that culture might consist of. It’s also an indictment of early 20th century America. A bill of charges against an egoism untempered by obligations to family or tradition. Selfishness, even selfhood, gone wild. Clownish.
A box of ARC’s arrived and as I was making a reading pile, this books red cover grabbed me. Inside was a letter from the editor, and I immediately took it to the couch and gave it my full attention (the writing whispered of Elliott Holt, more on that in a minute). Two sittings later I was done with the book, sadly, and wished it would never end. In the best cases, characters in books that I love live on, and they still reside in the town where I left them. Perhaps the author is writing the rest of their lives. I suspect Alice and Daniel are still steadily gazing at the stars that hang over London, right where I left them when this book ended.
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