Michiko Likes It!

modern-loversOne of the most anticipated books of the season (as proved by our compilation of all the summer previews) faces the Mikey of book reviewers, the daily NYT‘s Michiko Kakutani, and she likes it, calling it “charming.”

She may lose potential readers when she says that the story is “sort of a loose variation on those Hollywood comedies of remarriage like The Philadelphia Story or The Awful Truth, which, as the scholar Stanley Cavell pointed out in his insightful book Pursuits of Happiness,often seemed loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s romantic comedies,” but comes back to earth by the end, saying, “the book looks like designated vacation reading — but it’s just too deftly and thoughtfully written to be relegated merely to the beach.”

The NYT is lionizing the author. She was also profiled last week (revealing that she is the daughter of horror writer Peter Straub) and received earlier attention in one of the NYT‘s regular “Sunday Routine” features.

They aren’t the only ones. She is receiving attention from many other publications, including USA Today, “Book clubs will swoon over Emma Straub’s Modern Lovers,” Entertainment Weekly, which gives it an A-, even though the review reads like a solid A, and the Washington Post, which calls it “delightful.”

Will this become THE book of Summer, 2016? That’s difficult to predict. While holds in libraries are heavy in relation to modest ordering, the overall numbers don’t yet indicate a long-running best seller.

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