Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

everybody rise-198

You couldn’t cover up the smell of new money

At 26 years old, Evelyn Beegan is a late-blooming New York City society girl.  Raised outside of Baltimore by a self-made wealthy family, Evelyn climbed her way up the social ladder through Prep schools, Country Clubs and Ivy League acquaintances and made it to the big city.  But climbing the social ladder is a dirty business, and Evelyn soon discovers a Wharton-esque world of social responsibilities and anxieties she never could have anticipated.  From sailing etiquette and debutante balls to the art of the subtle insult, Evelyn in too deep with shallow pockets.

Continue Reading

Sphinx by Anne Garreta

Sphinx_lrg

To Appease Is Not The Same As To Fulfill

With sexes mixed and genders blurred Anne Garreta’s spectacular debut novel forces us to challenge our most deep-seated beliefs when it comes to dealing with matters of the heart. Though the people that swirl around them are clearly defined as being either male or female, Sphinx’s nameless narrator and their love interest A**** have broken free from this constraint and have elevated both themselves and their relationship to a place where gender markers no longer hold any relevance. With these arguably important identifying traits stripped away, what’s left to behold is a shockingly intimate portrait of the complexities of desire, what it’s like to truly lose yourself in another person, and the hidden costs of finally conquering the object of your ultimate affections.

Continue Reading

Harvest by Jim Crace

Harvest

Centuries ago in an unspecified rural location, a small village of farmers spot a mysterious cloud of smoke coming from the outskirts of their land.  This occurrence might not seem extraordinary, and certainly not any cause for alarm, but to the villagers it signifies a change in the air.  It means that outsiders are nearby, perhaps watching them.  Are the owners of this smoke cloud friend or foe?  No one can be sure at first, but when the village master’s dovecote is destroyed by a fire, the fearful community turns to the mysterious smoke cloud for answers.  As they soon learn, the fire belongs to a small family – The Beldams – that has set up camp near the village, and though they may look harmless enough, someone must pay for the crime that has been committed.

Continue Reading

The Swimmers by Joaquin Perez Azaustre

The_Swimmers

The world’s a subway

It’s the end of the world as he knows it, and Jonás Ager feels anything but fine.  Dealing with the weighty emotional fallout from a recent separation with his girlfriend Ada and finding that he lacks the creative vision to carry on with his once promising career as a highly talented, up and coming photographer, Jonás finds himself treading water in a city of rapidly disappearing possibilities.  As he stands frozen in place, the two remaining constants in his life – the school where he swims and his best friend Sergio – continue to evolve without him.

Continue Reading