Karen Valby
May 24, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
David Samuel Levinson
publisher
Algonquin Books
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

The first 100 pages of Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence are fast, nasty, and promising. Set in a cramped college town, it centers on a woman grieving her mysteriously dead writer husband. She blames her loss on a book critic, a former boyfriend and current tenant who derailed her husband’s career with a damning review. Meanwhile, the critic’s lover, a writer herself, hovers like an eager gnat, looking to mine their drama for her next novel. There are some great melodramatic scenes, full of delicious prose, but in the end the various plotlines grow exhausting and convoluted. Writers can be so tedious. B

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