An engrossing read."June Thomas, NY1's "The Book Reader""
A page-turner of a mystery with rich historical texture.... Atop the mystery, Ms. Donoghue masterfully overlays another story about motherhood and obligation, and friendship-even desire-between women. [She] manifests her genius by weaving the two together."Julie Hakim Azzam, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"
Where Donoghue excels is in her descriptions of 19th century squalor.... Poignant."Elizabeth Hand, Los Angeles Times"
Endlessly intriguing.... You'll find yourself enraptured by the intricate plot developments that will keep you revising your version of the action from one hour to the next."Maude McDaniel, BookPage"
Rich hauls of historical research, deeply excavated but lightly borne.... [An] ingenious telling."David Kipen, Wall Street Journal"
[An] ebullient mystery..... Donoghue cross-cuts between Blanche's desperate present-time search and scenes from her Technicolor past with showstopping aplomb.... It's all great fun, and so richly atmospheric.... Astonishing details are scattered like party nuts.... Donoghue also provides riotous musical accompaniment for her narrative.... Call it a mind-bendingly original crime novel, or a dazzling historical mystery, but in the end, this is really a book about love-a mother's love for a strange child, for an exotic friend and finally, for herself."Caroline Leavitt, San Francisco Chronicle"
In Jenny the frog-catcher, Donoghue has resurrected a true original-witty, perceptive, iconoclastic and nearly indomitable."Kathy Ewing, Cleveland Plain Dealer"
FROG MUSIC is miles away from the traditional who-done-it, and rather more colorful than your mama's historical fiction...[and] should appeal to those who don't mind their history with grit and unflinching details."Brooke Wylie, Examiner"
Whether the crime is stranger than fiction or simply more colorful than anything a writer would dare to invent, the true story of Jeanne Bonnet is a scandalous delight."Sara Breselor, 7x7SF"
The authenticity Donoghue brings to her work, something of a signature, lends richness and verisimilitude to the book. FROG MUSIC is a can't-miss work."Terri Schlichenmeyer, Washington Blade"
As with Room, the book thrives on Donoghue's precisely poignant details.... This is a book to cherish, to share with your friends and book clubs, to buy for every reader on your Christmas list, and to read again in a few years. Adored is not too strong a word to describe my feelings for it. My one wish: Emma Donoghue, could you please write faster?"Joy Tipping, Dallas Morning News"
Room's eloquent author brings the same sensitivity to this period piece, which explores the unsolved 1876 San Francisco murder of Jenny Bonnet through the eyes of the bohemian friend she left behind."InStyle"
The setting [Blanche] inhibits is alive, brimming with sin and music."New Yorker"
Donoghue depicts with feeling the new parent's confusion, anxiety and guiltnot just 'Am I doing the right thing?' but 'Am I feeling the right thing-.... Respect for the facts lets the book sprawl towards its final revelations. The effect is a rough if vital music, not unlike Blanche's own repertoire."Adrian Turpin, Financial Times"
Donoghue has a gift for place, for setting, for wringing anxiety and drama out of the spaces her characters occupy, as well as for taking real-life events and rendering them realer and sharper than they were the first time around.... It's a bizarre story through and through, and Donoghue more than does it justice, drawing for the reader a (clearly assiduously researched) world that feels both too strange to be real and too vivid not to be."Ellen Cushing, East Bay Express"
The perfect highbrow historical murder mystery summer read.... Working from actual historic record, Donoghue...masterfully fleshes out San Francisco's demi-monde of French émigré performers and pimps.... [and her] pacing is exemplary.... FROG MUSIC also makes a case for the return of blatant eroticism to mainstream literature. Blanche Buenon's world is one of sex and prostitution, Jenny's one of subverting her gender expectations, and both women have a charged sexuality that simmers like that summer heat wave under the surface of the novel. Donoghue handles graphic sexual scenes deftly, never compromising the frank and lustful point of view of her main character."Leigh Baldwin, San Antonio Current