Freya Sachs

Feature by

★Personal Best

Even well-loved, familiar poems can be mysterious. What if you could ask a poet to walk you through the why of one of their poems: why it matters, why they chose to share it, what’s at stake? Erin Belieu and Carl Phillips do just that in their delightful anthology, Personal Best: Makers on Their Poems that Matter Most. Including a remarkable and diverse array of contemporary poets, Phillips and Belieu assemble a collection of singular poems, each selected by its poet and accompanied by an explication of how it came to be written, illuminating the choices that make each poem sing. With poems by Danez Smith, Victoria Chang, Ada Limon, Jorie Graham, Ocean Vuong, Yusef Komunyakaa, Ilya Kaminsky and many more, there is something to appeal both to novice explorers of poetry and to writers and students hoping to deepen their appreciation for others’ work.

The anthology is full of gems. It was a welcome gift to reencounter poems I knew in fresh contexts, and it was equally enjoyable to explore poems and poets new to me and discover what I might read next. If someone you know is looking for some guidance in reading poetry, or seeking a deeper understanding of the poetic process, Personal Best would make an engaging, thoughtful gift.


Poems of faith and doubt, wounds and wonder: The moments collected in Kazim Ali’s Sukun: New and Selected Poems are surprising and approachable. Ali moves between subjects—from prayers, fairy tales and myths to baggage claims, yoga classes, boats and rain—with an honest, searching voice. Equally engaging is the formal range of the poems. From sonnets to prose poems, from open-ended lines that propel you forward to tightly compacted end-stopped lines, the form and content come together. Mundane details are made surprising in new combinations: “a black and white film” in which “the water glows white.” Part of the wonder comes from Ali grounding these details with a sense of place, setting them against large scale images of the natural world.

“There’s an old line of Robert Frost’s—that a poem ‘begins in delight and ends in wisdom.'”

In “Exit Strategy”—part of the triptych that opens the book—Ali writes “Here’s the hardest geography quiz I’ve ever taken: / How does one carry oneself from mountain to lake to desert / without leaving anything behind?” This collection reveals the answer, taking us through real and metaphorical landscapes as the speakers gather images, moments and ideas, letting each build on the last, collaging something wholly new.

The Asking

In the first poem of Jane Hirshfield’s The Asking: New and Selected Poems, she begins: “ My life, / you were a door I was given / to walk through.” This beautiful opening is the door we readers walk through to discover and rediscover this retrospective collection of Hirshfield’s poetry. Throughout, her attention to and celebration of minute details brings readers into a space of awareness that continues even after our eyes leave the page.

The new poems that open the book examine our fractured planet and imagine better possibilities. Next, beginning with 1982’s Alaya, we move through 50 years of Hirschfield’s work, observing the ways that our planet and the interrogation of our relationship with it have evolved. Hirshfield writes in awe of the world, of science and of imagination, and she threads these ideas together with a specificity and power of observation that demands our attention. She notices the nuance of the world; so must we. There’s an old line of Robert Frost’s—that a poem “begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” Hirshfield’s The Asking moves through both together, compelling the reader to wisdom and delight at interlocking, interconnected turns.

All Souls

All Souls, the posthumously published final volume of poems by Saskia Hamilton, conveys a richness of stories in beautifully captured vignettes. As Hamilton writes, “Why retell the stories of those before us? They already spoke them, or held their tongues—fell silent. . . . To say something sincerely yet inauthentically is the danger.” In this work, she avoids that danger, telling each poem in a way that is searingly authentic and resolved.

Hamilton takes bits of history and image, of story and sensory experience, and weaves them together to express something new. The poems organize around the painful, impossible moment when a mother must leave her young son. This devastation circles through the collection, asking the reader what is remembered, retold, forgotten. Remarkable shifts occur between seemingly fragmented moments—between the lyric and narrative, past and present. As you continue to read, the disparate images connect and begin to speak.

Razzle Dazzle

Traveling through Major Jackson’s Razzle Dazzle: New and Selected Poems 2002-2023 opens a new window to his work. The poems are vibrant and engaging, examining life in America, racial injustice, and the ways that humans and nature intertwine and connect. The poetic influences and legacies that echo through the poems are clear, and there’s a rich sense of community and conversation.

From the fresh images of Jackson’s latest work, like “My mouth puckered whenever lemon-colored / arches appeared five stories above the city / like golden gates to an unforeseen heaven,” we travel into the past to excerpts from Leaving Saturn (2002) before moving forward through the 21 years in between. In addition to the subjects and questions that complicate as they recur, Jackson’s voice and sense of form are impressive. Each line is carefully chosen; each stanza break opens up something new. Selections from Jackson’s The Absurd Man (2020) prove to be particularly compelling as a bookend to the opening section of new poems, titled “Lovesick.” To see Jackson’s recent poems surround and grow out of the earlier ones is a joy.

In each of these collections, from the wide-ranging anthology Personal Best to career-spanning looks at some of today’s most prominent poets, there’s something to surprise and delight every reader, as well as chances to gain insight into the writing process.
Review by

Have you ever had an awful day that you’d love to forget? And then another, and another? Yet you don’t want to admit the pattern to yourself, let alone to anyone around you, so you keep pretending that everything is OK? We’ve all been there, and this empathy is at the heart of Monica Heisey’s debut novel, Really Good, Actually.

As she approaches 30, Maggie has been busy as a graduate student in Toronto, building a life with her new husband—until that disappears in a moment, with the shock of a breakup. She can’t figure out how to move forward, even as everyone around her, from her graduate school adviser to her friends, tries to help her see a way through. She can’t quite pick up the pieces, which readers witness in obsessive emails, Google searches, group chats and conversations. Instead, she tries to convince everyone (particularly herself) that actually, she really is good—even great. 

Maggie’s voice is engaging, allowing readers to feel her pain, cringe at her adventures and communication attempts, and root for her to find her footing. She’s a quintessential mess, making decisions that aren’t what anyone would advise, and yet she doesn’t wallow (at least not for too long). We cheer her on, hoping that she’ll figure it all out, or at least some of it. 

There’s humor and grace in Really Good, Actually—a lightness of touch, a wry wit. Maggie is a woman disembarking from traditional romance to find herself. And while her marriage might have been short, her voice is enduring, and her journey is engaging, surprising and fresh.

There’s humor and grace in Really Good, Actually—a lightness of touch, a wry wit. Maggie is a woman disembarking from traditional romance to find herself, and her journey is engaging, surprising and fresh.
Review by

If the title of Elizabeth McKenzie’s third novel (after The Portable Veblen) were the strangest thing about it, it would still be remarkable. Luckily for readers who like their books odd, haunting, strange and surprising, it isn’t. 

As The Dog of the North begins, narrator Penny Rush is recently separated from her husband and heading from Salinas to Santa Barbara, California, where she knows she has problems waiting for her. Penny’s story intertwines with that of her grandmother, Dr. Pincer, a quirky, cantankerous hoarder who values privacy above all; and Burt, a lonely man who shares his toupee with his brother and loves his Pomeranian. Burt’s van is the titular Dog of the North, and it becomes Penny’s home and the place from which her adventures spring. 

Penny is searching for connection, for meaning in her life after quitting her marriage and job. Throughout her episodic travels, there are missing parents, a grandfather ready for an adventure, strange objects that perform mysterious and surprising functions, Dr. Pincer’s science experiments, shared meals, injuries, ailments and bits of hope.

Penny’s voice is curious and kind; she’s empathetic and reserves judgment from both herself and others. Her route—through places and among people, through landscapes both internal and exterior—surprises her. She doesn’t know what she’ll find or who she’ll meet, and her openness allows experiences to take shape that otherwise simply could not. Her presence unsettles some characters, forcing them to share more than they might have intended, and this enables a deeper connection between McKenzie’s characters and the reader, illuminating challenges we could’ve missed. 

Through Penny’s eyes, we see the beauty in the seemingly broken, in the flawed stories we tell ourselves—and what happens when those stories delightfully shatter.

Through Penny’s eyes, we see the beauty in the seemingly broken, in the flawed stories we tell ourselves—and what happens when those stories delightfully shatter.
Review by

There are magical islands in Rachel Heng’s Singapore, replete with fish; there are competing political factions and questions of power and control; there are familial relationships and love interests in a world that is being dissolved and rebuilt. This is the realm of Heng’s second novel, The Great Reclamation, upon which she casts a remarkable story.

In 1940s Singapore, British rule is drying up—but so, too, are the fish in the novel’s small village. A curious boy named Ah Boon discovers that he has the unique power to see lively, wondrous islands that are invisible to other people. When he shares his discovery with his family and community, their fortunes change, and the fishing village is able to thrive. Ah Boon, though, is focused on Siok Mei, the spunky neighbor girl, and their lives remain entangled while growing up, pursuing education and confronting their changing political realities and global climate.

Layered beneath all of Ah Boon’s adventures and experiences are the rich landscape and the ways humans measure their lives in, around and because of it. From the magical islands’ plethora of fish to the proposal of land reclamation, the landscape acts and responds, speaks and listens, and Heng highlights these interactions in beautiful and surprising ways. Her prose is alive; each character is rich with complexity and depth, each snapshot brimming with imagery.

Heng captures the individual and collective challenges of being human, evaluates pretense and power shifts, explores what a modern country might become after the disruption and displacement of World War II, and explores our concepts of family and home—and every bit of it is a delight to witness and revel in. The best novels teach us something new and ask us to engage in worlds beyond our own. For me, The Great Reclamation did just that. I don’t remember the last time I finished a nearly 500-page novel in one day, but I could not stop reading. It’s a remarkable journey.

The prose in Rachel Heng’s second novel is alive. Each character is rich with complexity and depth, each snapshot brimming with imagery.
Review by

The Roman Colosseum is full of wonders and history and secrets—and plants. Observing, cataloging and communicating with these plants is the heart of Katy Simpson Smith’s impressive novel, as the narrative connects two women across time who are both performing these archival acts. Set in 1854 and 2018, The Weeds  moves between the voices of these two women, interlocking their lives as they document the presence of (or absence of) plants. 

In 1854, a woman was caught stealing, and her misbehavior has led to her being indentured to English botanist Richard Deakin; he sends her into the Colosseum to catalog the flora and their uses. She also tells her own story and meditates on the ways that society impinges upon her selfhood. She speaks to her missing love, a woman who is off on a boat, now married to a man. In 2018, a woman has run from the entrapment of her life, but she finds herself newly hemmed in as she seeks the plants on Deakin’s list, makes notes, begrudges the presence of tourists and wonders what her next step might be. What will science, and her male adviser, allow? 

The novel moves in quick (and often blurry) shifts between these centuries and women. They mirror parts of each other; they both encounter violence at many turns and scales, and each reacts to the ways their voices and choices are constrained in their societies. The plants around them produce their own forms of tension and elements of violence; they are undoubtedly characters in their own right.

Just as the plants in the Colosseum ask of the women, The Weeds requests the reader to observe and look for connections, to question structures and patterns, and to discover new ways of seeing. Each detail is carefully attuned and revealed, and each seed opens at the moment it needs to bloom and stretch. Patience is necessary, but close attention reveals infinite rewards.

Read Katy Simpson Smith’s Behind the Book feature on The Weeds: “Women and unwanted plants have an uncomfortable amount in common.”

The Weeds requests the reader to observe and look for connections, to question structures and patterns, and to discover new ways of seeing.
Review by

Starting with its title, My Murder, Katie Williams sets up her second novel after Tell the Machine Goodnight with a handful of classic crime fiction questions: Whose murder? And who knows what? But readers will discover a subversive twist within.

Lou, the young mother and wife who narrates the novel, is back from the dead. As part of a government project, she and other victims of a serial killer have been resurrected with cloning technology and placed back into their homes, marriages and jobs. Yet things don’t quite fit for Lou: She can’t remember the days surrounding her murder, can’t connect with her child in the same way and feels distant from her husband. Lou’s confusion and curiosity guide the reader’s experience; she’s figuring things out just as we are, and the revelations of certain details, intentionally paced by Williams, are fresh and surprising. As Lou investigates unexplained moments from her previous life, it’s apparent that she won’t find peace until she makes some sense of them.

My Murder engages with a violent subject without gore, and probes how technology infuses our days and engages our attention, often without our awareness. The plot is certainly rich and appealing, but Williams’ layered considerations are even more compelling and yet never heavy-handed. What happened to Lou? Is she who she was? What makes humans who they are, and how does technology impact these definitions? With a singular voice and a winning narrative that will stay with you for days, My Murder speaks to the construction of the self and the filters we apply. It’s about what it means to survive, to be reborn and, ultimately, to live.

With a singular voice and a winning narrative that will stay with you for days, My Murder speaks to the construction of the self.
Review by

Louisa Hall’s fourth book, Reproduction, brings together many threads—the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, friendship, pregnancy, miscarriage and birthing trauma—within a novel about trying to create a novel, about literary and scientific discovery and, most importantly, about a woman trying to write her way back to herself. 

Hall’s unnamed narrator sets out to write a novel about Mary Shelley and Frankenstein with the intention of engaging with the book’s literary history. During the research process, she discovers how miscarriage and pregnancy haunted Shelley and her novel. As our narrator navigates her own crises surrounding pregnancy—her experiences with it as well as her feelings about it amid the political, societal, health and climate challenges of our day—she realizes that perhaps this is not the novel she needs to write. Instead, she borrows the frame structure of Frankenstein to launch and linger in a tale of herself and her newly reappeared friend Anna, a scientist who works in a lab, wants to have a child and is willing to explore genetic modification and all the questions, ethics, opportunities and challenges that come with it. 

Amid these large and lofty questions, Hall’s prose is taut, each word impactful, each short chapter a meditation on what could be. Throughout this slim novel, she continually returns to the evolving conversation between art and science, and to the enduring truth that no action or reaction exists in a vacuum. 

Hall doesn’t always provide reasons for what happens in Reproduction. Instead, the novel is a series of what-ifs, possibilities, surprises and moments of wonder. These short chapters build a complex web of interconnectivity, showing the ways that our actions are shaped by the threats of pandemic and climate change as well as the politics, bounds and potential of scientific inquiry.

Throughout her slim fourth novel, Louisa Hall continually returns to the conversation between art and science, and to the enduring truth that no action or reaction exists in a vacuum.
Review by

With novels like The Wonder, The Pull of the Stars and Haven, Emma Donoghue has proven herself a masterful storyteller of historical worlds populated with deeply imagined characters. Though the universes she creates seem like they could expand infinitely, she builds small, confined spaces at the center from which grow rich possibilities. This is all especially true of her latest biographical novel, Learned by Heart, a story of risk, love and two young women discovering themselves by way of each other.

In 19th-century York, England, Eliza Raine is an orphan heiress living at an all-girls boarding school. When Anne Lister becomes her roommate, Eliza’s world shifts—and along with it, her understanding of herself and who she might become. The story moves between the year they meet at school and a series of letters that Eliza writes to Anne some years later. In these shifts, the reader witnesses the ways that the past shapes and haunts the present, that stories are made and unmade, and that love surprises and overwhelms.

The language here—of deep friendship and longing, text and subtext—is captivating. Sentences sing, and details shine. Donoghue has a remarkable ability to hold you in a moment, allowing you to see as a character does, knowing the questions each breath contains. Throughout, she keeps the narrative intimate while still allowing for commentary on wider considerations of societal constraints and expectations.

After reading this wonderful story with its countless discoveries, perhaps the greatest surprise of all is in the author’s note, in which Donoghue shares how she meticulously researched and reimagined this true tale. While Anne Lister’s story has been brought into our contemporary awareness, most recently through the HBO series “Gentleman Jack,” Eliza Raine’s story—and their story together—has not. Donoghue investigated their personal histories for years, focusing on Lister’s secret journal and Raine’s letters (the ones she was able to find). This rich saga gets its bold and dazzling moment at last.

A masterful storyteller, Emma Donoghue brings her dazzling talent and imagination to this historical novel based on a true story of risk, love and two young women discovering themselves by way of each other.
Review by

Appalachia is a place that’s often ignored, forgotten or written over. When the region does become the subject of a book, as rarely as that may be, it’s frequently misrepresented. Barbara Kingsolver brings a notably different energy from her previous work to Demon Copperhead, a novel that dwells in the challenges of impoverished southern Appalachian communities and honors the ways in which our landscapes shape us. She does all this through a tremendous narrative voice, one so sharp and fresh as to overwhelm the reader’s senses.

In many ways, Demon Copperhead is a novel of survival—of finding one’s way through the mess of it all and living with dignity. Demon is born into poverty with only his teenage mother to call family, though she later becomes entangled in an abusive relationship. He faces such challenges as the foster system, child labor and his own desire to find success and a meaning for his life. At each turn, he finds ways to make things work. He’s willing to take risks, he cares about his people and community, and he often looks for the best in a moment, even if he doesn’t fully understand what he’s facing. With each choice, Demon’s spirit comes through, and it is haunting. It’s the reason the pages keep turning, as it’s imperative for the reader to find out how he’s going to get out of the latest mess or scrape, how he’s going to find his family and his own story.

Demon’s story—a tale of growth, challenges, sorrow and surprises—is both a retelling of and in conversation with David Copperfield, Charles Dickens’ novel about an orphan surviving in Victorian England, which was inspired by the author’s early life. Similarly, Kingsolver’s Demon is spunky and full of life as he navigates a complex, uneasy world. But Kingsolver has made this story her own, and what a joy it is to slip into this world and inhabit it, even with all its challenges.

Barbara Kingsolver’s novel is inspired by David Copperfield, but she has made this story her own, and what a joy it is to slip into this world and inhabit it, even with all its challenges.
Review by

There’s a certain joy in opening a Kate Atkinson novel—a feeling that every element matters and that each surprise and delight will ultimately make perfect sense. Her latest novel, Shrines of Gaiety, takes us to London in 1926. The shadows of the Great War and the 1918 flu pandemic weigh heavily on the world. In response to these recent horrors, London’s nightlife is alive, well and effervescent. 

Enter Nellie Coker—club owner, mother, notorious schemer—who is just about to be released from prison. Everyone is curious to see her, though she rarely lets people get close. London’s Soho neighborhood serves as the backdrop for Nellie’s life, as well as for the lives of her sons and the people who work for her and against her. Each chapter shifts focus, showing a bit of a character’s story, a glimpse of an encounter, a fragment of a person trying to exist in a complex world. We even get a fascinating look at characters who work in law enforcement. 

Slowly, these moments overlap. Secrets, stories, debts and more come to the surface. As the fragments of the novel coalesce, readers witness interconnection, reverberations and consequences. Patience is required to see this puzzle through to its end, but the long game pays off, and there’s magic in seeing the whole unexpected picture. 

There’s also pleasure in how Atkinson seamlessly integrates historical figures and moments into her story. Nellie Coker is a fictionalized version of “Night Club Queen” Kate Meyrick, but the novel moves beyond its inspiration, allowing the imaginative possibilities to guide the tale. Other cultural and literary figures are bandied about in conversation, which firmly establishes the novel’s time and place.

The history and setting add nuance to Shrines of Gaiety, but Atkinson’s characters and their choices, curiosities and corruptions keep the story unfolding, making the resolution worth every second. 

CORRECTION 10/25/2022: An earlier version of this review listed the incorrect year for the flu pandemic, which occurred in 1918.

Patience is required to see Kate Atkinson's latest puzzle through to its end, but the long game pays off, and there's magic in seeing the whole unexpected picture.
Review by

What does it mean for a story’s setting to really act as an additional character? It can’t just be a well-defined place where players act out their roles. Rather, it must feel like an extra layer where secrets might be kept—and possibly revealed. An apartment building on Mallow Island, South Carolina, beautifully illustrates this principle in Sarah Addison Allen’s sixth novel, Other Birds.

Zoey never felt at home with her father and stepmother in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so after turning 18, she moves to the island to live in the apartment left by her late mother. Zoey finds herself at the Dellawisp, a quirky old building that hosts a flock of nosy, noisy birds for which it is named. So, too, has it become a home for a number of interesting people. From Zoey’s artist neighbor, Charlotte, to the property manager, Frasier, each tenant of the Dellawisp is haunted by ghosts—of who they were, whom they love, pasts they don’t understand or want to flee. In time, each resident seeks to be understood, to build connections with one another and to understand how their lives are intertwined.

Magical elements are hewn into the marrow of Other Birds. Ghosts and birds—imagined or real, but all mysterious—guide the meandering cast, allowing opportunities for joyful circumstances. The fictional dellawisps—curious, loud and loitering—shape both the setting and how the characters interact within it. Zoey even has a bird named Pigeon that only she can see. Pigeon prods and cajoles Zoey, helping her grow.

If you’re looking for a bit of mystery, whimsical characters and a keen sense of place, Other Birds offers all these delights and more. Allen immerses readers in this island world, as well as in the process of self-discovery, the experiences of being haunted and the gift of surrendering to what we can and cannot control.

If you're looking for a bit of mystery, whimsical characters and a keen sense of place, Other Birds offers all these delights and more.
Review by

As a longtime teacher of American literature, I find myself with an aversion to novels that claim to be the next American epic in the tradition of John Steinbeck, particularly when they’re about World War II. These novels, purporting to be the next necessary heart-wrenching tale of wartime heroism, are seemingly everywhere, but rarely do they live up to expectations. Properties of Thirst defies, dispels and demolishes those expectations and biases in the best way. 

Centered on the bombing of Pearl Harbor and its aftermath, Marianne Wiggins’ masterful novel is a story of land and water, of family, home and connection. For years, the Los Angeles Water Department has impinged upon Rocky Rhodes’ ranch. He’s maintained the property, fought for it and made it a home for his children—twins Sunny and Stryker—as they mourn their mother’s death. 

As Stryker heads to war just before the bombing at Pearl Harbor, the Rhodes’ fiercely protected land becomes neighbor to a Japanese incarceration facility. Schiff, a Jewish man from the Department of the Interior, arrives to oversee the project. He finds himself intrigued by Sunny, and their lives twine and overlap over the course of the novel. 

It’s a challenge to probe such a dark chapter of American history while properly doing justice to the ways that government policies impact both people and the landscape. The novel’s title, Properties of Thirst, introduces an extended metaphor for this exploration: Each section opens with a property of thirst (“the first property of thirst is the element of surprise,” “the ninth property of thirst is submersion,” etc.), framing the novel’s world as one where water is scarce and desire is rampant. As Wiggins uses this lens to explore questions about our history, readers won’t be able to look away. 

Wiggins’ characters are raw and honest; they’re layered and human and fully realized people, from the ways they learn to communicate through their memories of traditions, food and holidays, to the connections they make through literature, particularly that of the Transcendentalists, those purveyors of idealism and individualism. 

Wiggins’ writing, which can be fragmented or polished depending on the page, opens up microscopic universes and sprawling landscapes alike. It’s a joy to read. The opening line, “You can’t save what you don’t love,” echoes throughout the novel, grounding and justifying the reader’s journey toward a better understanding of what that love is and the power it holds. 

In the novel’s afterword, readers learn that Properties of Thirst was completed after Wiggins’ stroke in 2016. While sitting in the author’s hospital room, her daughter, Lara Porzak, read the unfinished manuscript aloud, hoping that her mother’s “words could and would heal her brain, somehow creating a parallel existence: her shadow self living a shadow life reading her former self’s words.” Over time, the author, her daughter and editor David Ulin brought this book to the world, and in this backstory of creative collaboration, we witness the real process of saving what is loved. We are lucky, as readers, to experience the result.

Properties of Thirst was completed after the author's stroke in 2016, through a process of creative collaboration between Marianne Wiggins, her daughter, and editor David Ulin. We are lucky to witness and experience the result.
Review by

What does it mean to be a family? Why do people adopt children? How does a person choose to be, or not be, a parent? When a novel asks questions such as these, there’s often a singular instance or moment that provides an answer, or at the very least, a primary lens through which the possibilities are considered. The beauty of Eleanor Brown’s third novel is that she positions these questions in conversation, asking the how, why and what through the stories of several parents. We see many different choices and the ramifications of each.

The family in Any Other Family is constructed on its own terms: As the novel opens, four siblings live with three sets of parents. Each child was born to the same young woman, who chose open adoptions, enabling the children to maintain relationships not only with her but also with each other. The whole family is committed to raising the children with regular gatherings for Sunday dinners and holidays. And now, for the first time, they’re all taking a two-week family vacation, during which time they’ll learn to interact in new ways, encounter unexpected challenges and be forced, again, to consider how they form a family and what, exactly, that might mean.

The novel unfolds through the alternating perspectives of the three adoptive mothers, revealing their strengths and challenges with equal care. Brown’s tenderness toward these women, as well as the fathers, their children and the birth mother and father, draws readers toward empathy as well, as we feel our way into the complexities and nuances of the characters’ seemingly impossible choices. Empathy functions differently when examples are iterative, and one of the greatest rewards of reading Brown’s novel is the ability to engage with a multiplicity of perspectives.

There’s joy to be found in the struggle, and Any Other Family offers a thoughtful space to experience this truth.

There’s joy to be found in the struggle, and Eleanor Brown’s novel about an unusual adoptive family is a thoughtful exploration of this truth.

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our newsletter to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.

Trending Features