Reviews of the Week, with Anne Tyler, David Lynch, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani and More!

Every weekday we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or high-demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from June 11–15 below.

 

Monday, July 11

 Ghosted, by Rosie Walsh

Sarah fell head over heels for Eddie the moment she saw him. A chance roadside meeting led to a drink at the pub, which led to a 12-hour date, which led to a week so full of memories she didn’t think she’d be able to forget any of the details. They tore themselves apart long enough for Eddie to promise to call her after he returned from an already-planned trip, and Sarah knows he can’t come home soon enough. When Eddie doesn’t return any of Sarah’s texts or calls two weeks after he was supposed to return from his vacation, she can’t stop reliving that one perfect week over and over again.

 

 

Tuesday, July 12

 You’re Safe with Me, by Chitra Soundar

It’s late at night and the baby forest animals are about to go to sleep when the sounds of an approaching storm preclude their slumber. Mama Elephant gathers them in her trunk with the gentle refrain, “you’re safe with me.” While the babies whimper, Mama Elephant assures them that their fears are unfounded, reframing the scary noises as the necessary work of nature.

 

Wednesday, July 13

 Clock Dance, by Anne Tyler

Tyler, a master of homey enchantment and sly social evisceration whose storytelling finesse has propelled more than 20 novels—including A Spool of Blue Thread(2015) and her clever contribution to the Hogarth Shakespeare series, Vinegar Girl (2016)—now delivers an especially lithe and enlivening tale. Willa Drake is a sensitive, patient, and determined 11-year-old in 1967, with a gentle father and a mercurial and wounding mother. In this ensnaring novel’s first half, Tyler ticktocks through Willa’s life as she becomes a college student, a wife and mother of two sons in California, a young widow, and a new wife to a golf-loving, semiretired executive in Arizona.

 

Thursday, July 14

 Room to Dream, by David Lynch and Kristin McKenna

As a personification of unconventionality, multimedia visionary David Lynch has combined memoir with biography to forge a strikingly multidimensional portrait of the artist. Coauthor McKenna, a journalist who has known Lynch for decades, presents the facts along with forthright recollections gleaned from extensive interviews with Lynch’s family, ex-wives, friends, and colleagues. After each of her expository chapters, Lynch revisits the same time period, sharing his divergent memories and thoughts, thus creating an in-the-round view of his bucolic Idaho childhood, early and continued devotion to painting, and the mysterious occurrence that led him to movies.

 

Friday, July 15

 Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

The Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped girls from the country’s villages in the early to mid-2010s and kept them captive as slaves or wives in the forest. Based on interviews with some of the girls who were taken, this story follows one such girl in a fictionalized account of real-life events. Never named, the narrator reveals her life leading up to her capture—one marked by relatable experiences, such as harboring crushes and watching movies with friends, and a bright future—which makes the abduction all the more heart-wrenching.

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