Friday, April 27, 2012

And now for a new edition of Mark Your Dang Calendar

Mark Your Dang Calendar, people:

My favorite book of the year so far, Shine, Shine, Shine by  Lydia Netzer, will be hitting bookshelves everywhere (including here and here) on TUESDAY, JULY 17TH. It's a few months from now, so trust me, just mark your calendar.

There is just so much to love in this impressive, unforgettable novel about Sunny Mann, a woman acting the way she thinks she's supposed to act in a family and a world that just won't allow it. Her husband, a Nobel Prize winning scientist, is in space on a mission to drop self-reproducing robots on the moon. Her son, quickly becoming a clone of his father, brilliant but without a social bone in his body, is a constant puzzle and disappointment to Sunny. (Though really she's just disappointed in herself for treating him like a problem that needs to be solved.) On top of that, she's bald and no one outside her family knows it, her mother is dying, and she's about to have another baby. She's a tea kettle about to boil.
The most impressive part of this book, besides the lovely, curious use of language (pondering and pushing in a style like Annie Dillard's), is the way the story is unfolded-- it grows steadily to an emotional pitch so profound and clear, with nothing spilled before its perfect moment, that you'll be shocked to hear this is Netzer's first novel. Totally first rate. 

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