Before Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters, or the historical novels of Walter Scott, there were the Porter Sisters. Devoney Looser traces the fascinating, if difficult, lives of the influential authors that have been largely overlooked.
Regular readers of Natasha Pulley will find this novel to be least like any of her others. While there are some winks to her other universes (a pet octopus, a lighthouse), this may be her most grim. The alternate realities explored by her previous characters exist only in the author’s imagination. Here it is a battle of conflicting realities — the one which is killing people covertly and the one which the government wishes to portray.
Nick and his twin Marta (also the narrator) are convinced their family history carries a curse — their people die from falling. Ever since a Victorian era Czech ancestor pushed a stonemason off of a scaffold, his progeny suffered the consequences.
As far as I am concerned, Natasha Pulley can do no wrong. I have loved every one of her books and this is no exception. She has an ability to make the fantastical seem not only realistic, but casually so. In her world, time travel and parallel universes are perfectly reasonable.
Literary critic John Mullan investigates and analyzes the writing tricks of Dickens through a series of essays in The Artful Dickens. The essays are a fresh take on beloved writings and bring new enjoyment to old favorites.