My father keeps asking about reviews
So I’ve rounded up a few recent ones. Now I just need to get my father in front of a computer.
These recent reviews of Sea Creatures are pretty dreamy, from an author’s perspective — great reviews aren’t just lavish praise (though, hey, that’s a kick) but thoughtful, close examinations of the choices the writer has made on the page. I’m so grateful to these recent reviewers (and others, but I’m just not the regular blogger I should be — apologies to any I’ve not highlighted here!):
From Susan Day, writing (at length) for Wisconsin People & Ideas Magazine, for whom I’ll be judging a fiction contest early next year:
“While a few real ocean dwellers make notable appearances, caught and struggling against human-made snares, the sea creatures we encounter are largely mythic creations of the characters’ making. Imagined and re-imagined, they represent stories of beauty or terror or wonder as needed—to fill “the thunderous void” of absence—by the strange humans who make their home in a world where they are not equipped to survive.
Sea Creatures is an exploration of the fragile structures people build for solace, protection, and desire, and the ways in which these structures must weather the storms of consequence and tragedy. The novel could easily dwell in regret and guilt; the grownups all have reason enough. Yet Sea Creatures is more interested in the deep and complex connections of family as well as the ways in which we bear the returning tide of loss.”
From the always smart and relevant essay and fiction writer Roxane Gay, whose novel UNTAMED STATE is out next year:
“Susanna Daniel is a beautiful writer, one of my favorites. She composes sentences elegantly, thoughtfully, with a delicate attention to detail. . . One of my favorite things about Daniel’s writing, and this truly shines in Sea Creatures, is how she tells a story completely. This is not to say the reader will get everything they want but we are not left with nagging questions. Because she has committed to telling a story, Daniel tells the story. This sense of completeness becomes almost unbearable in Sea Creatures but as a whole, the novel is so masterful, the burden becomes light.”
And for the Star Tribune’s picks for top books of the year, Meganne Fabrega chose SEA CREATURES.
“In Susanna Daniel’s novel “Sea Creatures” (Harper, $25.99), a family valiantly struggles to stay together under the looming shadow of a natural, and domestic, disaster. Daniel deftly navigates the reader through a stormy sea of emotions, as she blurs the edges between dreams and reality under the hot Miami sun.”