Jeff Giles
September 06, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Enon

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Paul Harding
publisher
Random House
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

A New England dad loses his daughter in a car crash, then loses his wife in the wake of the tragedy, then loses what would be colloquially called his s—. Harding is a superb stylist — he won the Pulitzer for his debut novel, Tinkers, about the same family — but grief is such an overharvested field, especially post-9/11, that the first 100 pages are more stately than stunning. (The title, Enon, a biblical reference as well as none backward, seems precious, but maybe I’m too easily annoyed?) Keep reading, though: The second half finds our antihero in a shame spiral so wild and riveting it’s practically an aria. B+

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