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Ron Charles…it's easy to imagine some readers waiting impatiently—and futilely—for the story to begin. But Hensher's intricately crafted sentences flash with wit, his dexterity with telling detail is captivating, and his dialogue delivers the guilty pleasure of eavesdropping. If you give yourself over to this novel's organic movement, you'll fall in love with its startlingly perceptive depiction of these people. And eventually, you'll enjoy the satisfaction of seeing how these disparate scenes lock into each other in the most poignant ways…This absorbing portrait of a large group of people invites comparison to Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections or Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children, but Hensher is a gentler satirist and treats his characters more tenderly. Indeed, he writes with such illuminating attention to the flutterings of everyday hope and despair that you come away from these pages feeling like a more insightful person. That's all we ask from the best books of the year.
—The Washington Post