Heartbreak Bay; Adrienne Brodeur's memoir Wild Game

You learn about the narrator and you cluck-cluck at her adolescent mistakes of judgment (if that’s what they are, as in they were generated by her fervent love for her complicated and beautiful mother); you grow up with her and her inner anguish; you break away with relief and happiness for her.

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The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

The world that Byrne has created is intensely brittle, manipulated, multidimensional and polymorphous, but less focus on the possibilities of pastiche and paranormality and a little more on the meaning and yield even of shifting positions and subjectivities in a compressed time-space would have made the novel more readable and enjoyable.

Sally Rooney’s Normal People

Brava, Sally Rooney! I’m taken by how actions are not acted out by the ends of sentences. And by how past and present co-exist easily within ten to fifteen words (though what does that mean for subjectivity anyway?). But there is also a quality of unabashed sentimentality, love-story-like elements. Probably to propel the plot forward? I’m expecting this wry, off-kilter statement about modern — or even ancient — love out of joint, and then the telling veers back into a “love story” timbre. At first the story oscillates between both lovers’ fears of unrequitedness, but later it crescendoes in a…