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Critical Praise

“Spellbinding . . . provocative, hypnotic . . . spot-on authentic. A cool depiction of a mother and daughter’s fraught and fiery relationship.”

——USA Today

“Trenchant and enduring . . . Shapiro elegantly and movingly portrays the troubled relationship young Clara has with a mother who uses her for her own artistic aims . . . As Shapiro has demonstrated in her earlier work, most notably in the novel Family History, she is nimble with structure and she plays out the story line deftly, creating the urgency of unraveling mystery in what is essentially psychological drama.”

——Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Shapiro’s sharp depictions of love and shame go a long way . . . [T]he novel offers some fine insights into marriage, the making of art and the often difficult mother-daughter dynamic.”

——Publisher’s Weekly

“Universal dilemmas . . . face us all, and it is the novelist’s job to breathe life into them one way or another, and this is something Shapiro does very well indeed. The strength of this novel is its particularity, it’s specificity, whether Shapiro is raking over the changes wrought by the years to the Upper West Side or describing Clara’s sense of dislocation as she attempts to blend in with the other moms on the Maine Island. . . . [Shapiro] has the skill to make those black scratches on white paper somehow live and breath.”

——The New York Times Book Review