Thursday, December 12, 2013

OUR PICNICS IN THE SUN is "a psychological dazzler," "a stunner," "transcendent"

Award-winning mystery author Morag Joss's latest, Our Picnics in the Sun, came out from Delacorte Press/Random House a few weeks ago. Already it's been receiving simply stellar reviews!

Entertainment Weekly called Our Picnics in the Sun a “psychological dazzler” and named it to their “Must Read” list.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently featured the book in a glowing review. The below excerpt gives you a taste of the book, as well as a sense of how stunning it is:

Told in multiple voices, Joss' novel is a stunner. It's crime fiction the way Kate Atkinson is crime fiction — a novel cleverly plotted around a single event that reaches out across the story in mysterious and menacing ways. Set in an isolated farm in the English moors, Picnics in the Sun examines the lives of Howard and Deborah after Howard has had a debilitating stroke. Their marriage is in decay; their lives, like their farmhouse, are crumbling. The plot becomes increasingly suspenseful as a festering event in their past infects their present and a stranger inserts himself cruelly into their lives.

Don't miss the full review here.

NPR book critic Maureen Corrigan featured Our Picnics in the Sun on Fresh Air. She said, “In addition to her uncanny powers of storytelling, Joss can capture a world in the space of a few charged words.”

You can listen to the full review below, in which Joss's book is paired up with some other recent reads that came out around the time of that one-in-every-78,000-years holiday, Thanksgivukkah.

Last but certainly not least, WBUR, Boston's NPR news station, featured Joss and Our Picnics in the Sun in its arts column, The Artery. Other books praised in the same article were Ruth Rendell's No Man's Nightingale and Jayne Anne Phillips's Quiet Dell.

In the article, critic Ed Siegel calls Rendell “the greatest living mystery writer,” but he argues that Joss's work is just as good. “Like Rendell,” he writes, “she's more interested in the psychological framing of her characters than in creating and then solving crimes. [Alice] Munro and William Trevor are more her literary heroes than Agatha Christie or P.D. James.”

Here's an excerpt of some of his other praise:

Our Picnics in the Sun is [Joss's] gutsiest book yet as there seemingly isn’t a likable character in it...Yet it turns out to be every bit as much of a pageturner, and a search for grace, as Quiet Dell. Much of that is due to Joss’s artful writing — the psychological depth of her characters, the description of the English countryside and the trust that one has in her, given the richness of her previous books...I’ve been re-reading parts of the book and I’m agape at what Joss pulls off here. These are two books [Our Picnics in the Sun and Quiet Dell] that not only transcend their genres, they’re just plain transcendent.

You can find the full review in The Artery here.

Clearly, this suspenseful, gripping read isn't one to miss!

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