In a spotlight story, the paper charts the novel’s rise, pointing out this is the highest ranking Sittenfeld has reached on the list, her debut Prep peaked at #34 and American Wife topped off at #35.
The novel makes the list in the face of very mixed reviews. While it is a LibraryReads selection, an Indie Next pick, and a People magazine’s “Book of the Week,” it was excoriated by Michiko Kakutani in the daily NYT. Even in strong reviews such as the 3 out of 4-star review in USA Today, book editor Jocelyn McClurg said it was “amusing if crass.”
Then came the early posting of the NYT Book Review‘s rave review declaring, “not since Clueless, which transported Emma to Beverly Hills, has Austen been so delightedly interpreted.”
That is clearly a sentiment that readers have endorsed. Holds are skyrocketing, reaching double-digit ratios at some libraries and amassing long queues at others.
We’ll learn later today where it lands on the NYT list. We expect to see it in the top five.