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Donna RifkindHow to rediscover faith in this used and broken world, during a vacuous holiday season, in a junk shop tricked out to look like home, among the old eggbeaters and heavy black telephones of the dead? Kimmel manages to suggest that hope is possible here, urging her trio of unhappy pilgrims, along with two unanticipated babies, into a peculiar but convincingly loving family. She accomplishes this not by tidying up all the book's odds and ends, as other writers might, but by leaving them loose. The questions her characters ask…are always more vital than the answers. In an interview with Powells.com in 2004, Kimmel mentioned why she spent 2 1/2 years studying religion in a Quaker seminary in the early 1990s. "I realized that if…I wanted to be a writer at all, I would have to commit myself to asking the largest questions of life I knew how to ask, and it seemed to me that those were questions about time and death and change." Stuffing these questions into an already overcrowded narrative, Kimmel pulls off an unexpectedly affecting novelistic coup, in which sunny exuberance exists side by side with solemnity, faith sits next to doubt, the past cohabits with the present, and the ineffable cozies up to the real. That so messy a book forms such a satisfying whole is a bit of a miracle.
—The Washington Post