We gave it a B
Reynolds is one of those rare writers whose sentences are so lyrical it’s easy to become lost in one paragraph, rereading for the pure pleasure of the cadences. For a time, one can ignore the fact that her first novel is burdened by problems with structure and pacing that occur too frequently when writers of short fiction attempt to go long. The story follows Helene Strickland, a prodigal daughter returning home to rural Arkansas to confront the mother who had abandoned her as a child. While the characters are engagingly dramatic and eccentric (Helene’s grandmother was nameless until she turned 17), ”Knee-Deep” is never as gripping as it could be.