Tin Man is a beautiful portrait of a love triangle between Ellis, Michael, and Annie. But it's also a story of friendship and a story of family. The novel opens in 1950, with Ellis's mother remembering the day she acquired a painting by Vincent van Gogh.
Little Fires Everywhere received massive attention when it was published in 2017, garnering over 59,000 reviews on Goodreads and winning the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award. At the time, I remember watching the publicity for the book grow, and I even read an article that broke down its marketing success. Reese Witherspoon chose it as a book club pick and subsequently developed and starred in mini series Hulu adaptation.
Amy Falls Down is the sequel to The Writing Class; however, I read Amy Falls Down first (I haven't read The Writing Class yet), and it stands up on its own as a novel. There is what I assume to be several spoilers of the ending of the first book, but other than that, Amy Falls Down works as its own novel. Amy is a novelist who hasn't written for decades. She prefers the hermit life, but one day she takes a tumble in her garden, hitting her head on the bird bath and coming to some time later. Amy's fall triggers a string of events which somehow lead to her being rediscovered as a novelist.
Tender is set in Ireland and written with a dialect. There are several words and phrases in the novel that may be hard to understand if you aren't familiar with Irish lingo, but the dialect isn't anywhere near as bad as the Scottish dialect in Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. Rather, in this novel, the dialect works to remind you of the Irish setting without overwhelming you with culture-specific lingo.
How to Pronounce Knife is a collection of 14 short stories. The title story, which is also the first story, sets the tone for the rest of the collection. Collectively, these stories paint an image of sorrow, of displacement, of a longing to belong, to feel at home. "How to Pronounce Knife" describes a young girl in school learning how to read. The word "knife" appears in a book she has taken home to read for school, but there is not a picture next to the word to help her identify it, and so she asks her father.
The vibe of this book is reminiscent of stream of consciousness in that there isn’t a solid plot throughout the novel; rather, it’s more of an overarching theme of grief and stagnation and this oppressive feeling that there is a crisis at hand yet you have no idea how to handle the crisis, let alone identify and clearly articulate the crisis.