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Kathryn HarrisonHouse Lights is artfully constructed. By virtue of their length, novels forgive undisciplined descriptive flights, but Cohen writes with the scrupulousness of someone fashioning a short story, in which even the smallest details must bear their weight of significance. On the night Beatrice learns of the accusations made against her father — the night she chooses to counter her mother’s revelation by informing her mother of the implicitly disloyal letter she’s mailed to Margaret Fourcey — Beatrice drinks warm milk with her mother, who, for the first time ever, spikes it with alcohol, seemingly in an attempt to soften the impact of her husband’s misconduct. Ushered by her mother from the familiar bedtime ritual of children into the realm of grown-ups and nightcaps, Beatrice finds the new drink “sharp-tasting” in a way she savors.
— The New York Times