News and Reviews
Sat, 02/16/2019 - 6:45pm by muffy
Drawing on the author’s own experience, the narrative takes place over the course of a single morning, as a woman, known only as Mother lies sprawled on her driveway in an upscale Atlanta suburb, bleeding from a gunshot wound.
In short, graphic chapters, Mother recounts lucidly of her girlhood in North Carolina of immigrant parents, the family’s visits to India, her experience as a reporter in a hostile work environment, her relationship with a husband who is virtually absent, leaving her to raised their three daughters in a community that is fixated on their otherness. While her daughters are harassed and bullied at school, Mothers endures zealous traffic cops, “discrimination, cruelty, and stupidity in routine circumstances” because of the color of her skin
The Atlas of Reds and Blues grapples with the complexities of the second-generation American experience and what it means to be a woman of color in today's America. “Laskar's bravura drama of one woman pushed to the brink by racism is at once sharply relevant and tragically timeless.” (Booklist)
* = Starred review
Wed, 02/13/2019 - 1:45pm by howarde
The Downtown Library will be closed for about two weeks beginning Monday, February 25th for re-carpeting and painting, and will reopen at 9 AM on Saturday March 9th.
The Downtown Hold Shelves will return from Westgate at opening Saturday and all items will be held through the weekend; on Monday March 12 items on the Downtown Hold Shelves will resume expiring normally.
All other locations are open as normal.
Sun, 02/10/2019 - 7:22pm by muffy
Fort Myers, Florida, January 1888. Having lived in the storeroom of the local grocer since running away from home as a teenager, 25 year-old Belle Carson was about to turn her life around when she answered a newspaper ad for a gardener at Seminole Lodge - the winter home of Mina and Thomas Edison. She was excited by Mina’s plan for an extensive garden along the Caloosahatchee River, and for the first time, her own cottage on the grounds. As she gained confidence and courage, made friends, started a woman’s club, and contemplated a relationship with Boone, the Estate’s young groundskeeper, her dark past resurfaced. When Belle fought back, the repercussion threatened to destroy everything she had so carefully cultivated.
“Well-drawn characters and descriptions of Edison's laboratory, the estate, and a mysterious listening device that allows Belle to eavesdrop on private conversations help to vivify this particular time period.” (Publishers Weekly)
Sat, 02/02/2019 - 6:36pm by muffy
If you too, are desperate for the next release of the Austen Project, fret no more. We have a fix!!! “Austen devotees will rejoice in this respectful cross-cultural update of a beloved classic.” (Library Journal)
Faithful to the original plot, almost scene by scene, the Bennets are now the Binats, having relocated to Dilipabad (fictional town outside of Lahore, Pakistan) due to a reversal of fortune. To supplement the family's income, Jena (32) and Alys (30) teach English Literature at the local girls’ school where their younger sisters Qitty, Mari, and Lady also attend. When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for eligible bachelors, never mind that the Binat girls are deemed “unmarriageable.” When Jena catches the eye of the rich and handsome Bungles, Mrs. Binat eagerly awaits an advantageous proposal. But his friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family and declared so.
“What ensues is a funny, sometimes romantic, often thought-provoking glimpse into Pakistani culture, one which adroitly illustrates the double standards women face when navigating sex, love, and marriage. This is a must-read for devout Austenites.” (Publishers Weekly)
* * = 2 starred reviews
Wed, 01/30/2019 - 4:42pm by manz
This week many awards were given for excellence in books, video and audio books for children and young adults at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards. One the biggies given annually is the Michael L. Printz Award, which is given for excellence in literature written for young adults. This year four Printz Honors were named in addition to the winner.
The winner is The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. The book also won the National Book Award for Young Peoples’ Literature. Both are a big deal, so this is one to check out.
Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.
Wed, 01/30/2019 - 4:15pm by manz
This past Monday was a big day in children’s literature! Award winners were announced in many categories at the midwinter conference of the American Library Association.
The John Newbery Medal is awarded for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature. This year’s winner is Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Madina. Honors were also awarded to The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani, and The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock.
The Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The winner is Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall. Four honor books were also announced, including Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal, A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin, The Rough Patch by Brian Lies, and Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora.
Thu, 01/24/2019 - 3:08pm by muffy
The Age of Light * * * by Whitney Scharer opens on a hot July day in 1966 at a Sussex farmhouse where Lee Miller is throwing a sumptuous dinner party for her Vogue editor, trying to forestall her dismissal as the magazine’s food writer for perpetually missing deadlines. After a series of comic mishaps that threaten to ruin the dinner (not the least being Lee’s secret drinking), she is shocked to find her new assignment is to write about her years with Surrealist artist Man Ray. Lee finally agrees, with one caveat: not his photos, hers.
1929. The 22 year-old Lee - Vogue’s cover-girl, famous for her staggering beauty, arrives in Paris intending to forge a new identity as an artist. As her funds run low, she talks her way into assisting Man Ray in his chaotic studio, learning every aspect of the artistic process. Their personal and professional lives soon become intimately entwined. The student/muse becomes a collaborator and innovator - a fact that grates on the much-older and egotistical Ray, and eventually leads to bitter betrayals on both of their parts.
“Scharer sets her viewfinder selectively, focusing on her heroine’s insecurities as much as her accomplishments as an artist; her hunger to be more than “a neck to hold pearls, a slim waist to show off a belt” is contrasted with her habit of solving problems by simply leaving. The price for Lee is steep, but it makes for irresistible reading. Sexy and moving.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Check out these titles in our Fine Arts collection for more on the life and art of Lee Miller, especially Lee Miller's War: Photographer and Correspondent With the Allies in Europe, 1944-45, which were among the first photographs of the death camps to reach the American public. For readers who enjoyed The Muralist by Barbara A. Shapiro, and The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown.
* * * = 3 starred reviews
Wed, 01/09/2019 - 10:39am by muffy
My Sister, the Serial Killer *, Nigerian Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel has been called “(p)ulpy, peppery and sinister, served up in a comic deadpan…This scorpion-tailed little thriller leaves a response, and a sting, you will remember.” (The New York Times)
Petite and light-skinned, beautiful and charismatic Ayoola could do no wrong growing up in her complicated family. Her older sister Korede knows better. A nurse at Lago’s St. Pete’s Hospital, she is the one who cleans up the bloody mess each time Ayoola, claiming self-defense, kills a boyfriend (“Three and they label you a serial killer.”) Korede is willing to protect Ayoola until her secret crush, Dr. Tade Otumu becomes smitten with Ayoola on one of her impromptu visits to the hospital. Now, the long-suffering, overlooked and underappreciated Korede must make a choice.
“(W)hat makes Braithwaite’s first novel stand out from others in this genre (gothic mystery) is the unobtrusively sly approach she takes to the conventions of “black widow” storytelling and the appealing deadpan voice of the jittery yet world-weary Korede. Along the way, there are scattered glimpses of life in Lagos, most acidly when Korede deals with the routine corruption involved in a traffic stop.” (Kirkus Reviews) Will appeal to Dexter fans, and begs the question - "how much will we sacrifice for the sake of family?" as in Stay with Me by fellow Nigerian Ayobami Adebayo.
* = Starred review
Tue, 01/08/2019 - 1:54pm by eapearce
Our annual Write On! 3rd-5th grade writing contest and It's All Write 6th-12th grade writing contest will both begin accepting submissions on Sunday, January 20! The kids' writing contest accepts submissions from January 20-February 17, 2019, while the teen writing contest is open for submission from January 20-March 3, 2019.
Participants from Ann Arbor and beyond are welcome to submit their entries to these contests! The kids' writing contest accepts short stories, while the teen writing contest has flash fiction, short story and poetry components.
Thu, 01/03/2019 - 6:00pm by nicole
You've seen this story told before, time and time again:
Prince meets poor sweet urchin girl. They marry. That's the end.
The most enchanting film of all was produced by Disney--
The dearest love in all the world is hiding this next key!
Somewhere in the vast catalog a mysterious Key has appeared! The hunt for The Kingdom Key begins now!
A film was made in yesteryear
They had the right ingredients
for cinematic heaven:
A charming prince, a ball,
a town in colors bright as candy,
A fragile shoe, a pumpkin ride--
and lots of shots of Brandy.
Click on the image to get started searching for this Key (and the Gate!), or do something else entirely, like:
Dance all the way to the Badge List!
Hop inside a pumpkin and ride off to the AADL Catalog!
Wed, 01/02/2019 - 9:42am by morseh
Part III: “A Printer’s Supplies”
Like any other nineteenth-century newspaper, the Signal of Liberty relied on the receipt of printing supplies that were not always easy to come by in Western states and territories. Besides a press and typesetting equipment, printers needed several dozen cases of type and a regular supply of paper and ink. Local, as well as out-of-state, business connections with type foundries, paper mills, ink-makers, and bookstores were vital to the smooth operation of the Signal of Liberty. In some cases, these businesses’ support of the Signal also corresponded to the owner’s own antislavery convictions. Even when this was not the case, the Signal’s business networks paint a picture of industry and commerce in mid-nineteenth-century Ann Arbor, as well as the larger Great Lakes region.
Thu, 12/27/2018 - 10:22am by muffy
I have been saving the galley to One Day in December by Josie Silver for quite some time, waiting for a long stretch of uninterrupted time so I could kick back and enjoy it, and it did not disappoint. Called “unabashedly romantic”, it is the story of 2 Londoners who cross paths on a cold December evening and spend the next decade circling each other’s lives.
Hotel clerk Laurie James spotted a young man at a bus stop from her upper-deck seat. They locked eyes and the connection was electric but before either one of them could make a move, the bus pulled away. Over the course of the next year, Laurie never stop looking for her “bus boy”. When she finally met him, he was Jack O’Mara - her best friend/roommate Sarah's new boyfriend. For different reasons, they decided not to tell Sarah while their deep connection remained -- even after Laurie took herself off to the wilds of Thailand and met the dreamy Robinson Crusoe/banker Oscar Ogilvy-Black.
“There’s no question where the book is going, but the pacing is just right, the tone warm, and the characters sympathetic, even when making dumb decisions. Anyone who believes in true love or is simply willing to accept it as the premise of a winding tale will find this debut an emotional, satisfying read.” (Kirkus Reviews) Enough said! For fans of Miss you by Kate Eberlen, and definitely if you have been bingeing on Love Actually this holiday season.
If you don't insist on a happy ending, may I suggest Harriet Paige's highly stylish Man With a Seagull on His Head ? - "(A) novel about... the electric charge that comes from real if unexpected connection. Beautiful, lyrical, and strangely moving...".
Tue, 12/18/2018 - 2:57pm by richretyi
Coco. Metal detectors. Florence + the Machine. Little Fires Everywhere. La Grenouillere.
These are just a few of the most requested books, movies, music, tools, and art prints of 2018 across the entire AADL system. Thanks for using your library!
Tue, 12/18/2018 - 9:04am by TimG
All locations of the Ann Arbor District Library will be closed on Monday & Tuesday, December 24 & 25. Regular hours will resume on Wednesday, December 26.
All locations will close at 6 pm on Monday December 31 and will remain closed on Tuesday, January 1. Regular hours will resume on Wednesday, January 2.
Fri, 12/14/2018 - 1:14pm by muffy
With winter solstice approaching and our to-do lists becoming overwhelming, there is no reason why your pleasure reading should suffer. The trick for me is to try out small gems - books under 200 pages.
Set in the summer of 2017, the 40-year old narrator is American writer Kathy Acker (a writer who too, is known for basing much of her work on the writing of others) is about to be married while the whole world is falling apart (nuclear testing in North Korea, floods in Houston, the Grenfell Tower fire, white supremacist march in Charlottesville, and antics of an increasingly unstable president). Frolicking with her much-older fiance and a well-heeled crowd in a Tuscan hotel, Kathy must come to terms with the idea of a lifelong commitment.
“A narrative written with immense vitality and, miraculously, the lightest of touches... It's a subversive love story that shouldn't work, but does.” ~ Deborah Levy (Wall Street Journal)
Want some suggestions : Try BuszzFeed’s 46 Brilliant Short Novels you can read in a day; 10 Best Books under 200 pages; and Short and Spectacular: 21 great novels under 200 pages : From classic to contemporary, discover favorite short books and novellas, guaranteed to stay with you long after the final page - one as short as 60 pages.
Thu, 12/13/2018 - 2:24pm by -alex-
A bird and crocodile hatch next to each other on a beach. Bound together by their mutual need and by their isolation, the two explore their world together.
Can two very different creatures be brothers? What does it mean to be family? Alexis Deacon's delicate, deeply tender story explores these questions with a unique mix of humor and melancholy.
Mon, 12/10/2018 - 2:11pm by samanthar
The Book of Books by Jessica Allen showcases 100 of America's best-loved novels. Each of the 100 books has a 2 page write up, giving fascinating information on the history of the book, its author, and social impact. It is a companion to PBS's Great American Read series. Did you know that S.E. Hinton signed the contract for The Outsiders on the day she graduated from high school? Or that James Patterson has a whole team of people helping him produce up to 9 books a year? This is a fun read for any book lover! How many of the 100 have you read?!
Thu, 11/15/2018 - 1:20pm by muffy
The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry, (a pseudonym for husband-and-wife writing team of Christopher Brookmyre and Dr. Marisa Haetzman, an anaesthetist), is based on her research into the history of Medicine. This is the first in a new mystery series, set in Victorian Edinburgh.
Edinburgh, 1847. 20 year-old Will Raven, the newly appointed medical apprentice to Dr. James Simpson, a revered professor of midwifery, saw this opportunity as his ticket out of his sordid and hardscrabble upbringing, but not before one last visit to Evie Lawson, a prostitute he has befriended. In her garret room, Will found her cold and contorted body. Soon, young women were found dead across the Old Town, all having suffered similarly gruesome ends. As a member of Dr. Simpson’s household, Will met visiting luminaries and became intrigue with daring experiments in the new medical frontier of anaesthesia. However, it was Sarah Fisher, the Simpson’s maid, to whom Will turned to as they looked deeper into these deaths.
“Parry is particularly adept at creating memorable characters in the compassionate and progressive Simpson, impetuous but principled Raven, and intelligent and feisty Sarah, not to mention the perfectly psychopathic villain.” (Library Journal)
Fans of 19th Century medical mysteries would also enjoy Lawrence Goldstone's The Anatomy of Deception (2008) and E. S. Thomson's Beloved Poison (2016)(Booklist); Anne Perry's William Monk series and Caleb Carr's The Alienist.
Wed, 11/14/2018 - 8:35pm by TimG
All AADL locations will be closed on Thursday, November 22 for Thanksgiving.
Regular library hours will resume on Friday, November 23.
Fri, 11/09/2018 - 6:00pm by nicole
At last! Another Treasure Quest to fill your freezing days.
A puzzle to unlock! A different screen at which to gaze!
It's fashionably late, just like the greatest rockstars are.
Now this Key's off to surf the crowd! Or is it a...Keytar?
Somewhere in the vast catalog a mysterious Key has appeared! The hunt for The Subspace Key-tar begins now!
This story is about a guy,
Just him vs. the World.
One night he fell in like
With an Amazonian girl.
She came with lots of baggage:
Seven exes in a row.
This Zero had to beat them
To become her latest beau.
Click on the image to get started searching for this Key (and the Gate!), or do something else entirely, like:
Take a bus to the Badge List!
Zip through subspace into the AADL Catalog!
Fri, 11/09/2018 - 2:39pm by muffy
2002, Chengdu. Unbeknownst to his colleagues and superiors, legendary Sgt. Zheng Haoming was quietly investigating an 18 year-old unsolved cold case when he was found murdered. Hovering over his body was provincial detective Pei Tao, closely and personally tied to the case, and insisted that it is again, the handiwork of Eumenides (after the Greek goddess of vengeance and retribution), evident by the death notice found in Sgt. Zheng’s apartment.
As more “death notices” are being delivered, announcing the killer's next targets, a new police task force is formed. What follows is a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Eumenides always a step ahead of the police. The cliff-hanger ending will leave readers shocked and clamoring for the next installment.
"Zhou's story is thoughtfully constructed (and skillfully translated), balancing an exploration of loyalty, jealousy, and the moral tension between law and justice... This procedural...boasts the rich cultural immersion, the bird's-eye view of procedural technique in an international police force, and the complex mysteries that have long driven the popularity of Scandinavian crime fiction."(Booklist) For fans of Jo Nesbo, and Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series.
* = Starred review
Fri, 11/02/2018 - 9:18am by richretyi
The Ann Arbor District Library earned a five star designation for the 11th year in a row in Library Journal’s annual rating of public libraries nationwide. AADL is one of just 10 public libraries in the country to earn LJ's five star designation in each of the last 11 years.
Five other Michigan libraries received star ratings this year. West Bloomfield Township Public Library and Richland Community Library also earned a five-star designation from Library Journal, while Litchfield District Library earned four stars, and Salem-South Lyon District Library and Kent District Library were named three star libraries. Congratulations to our fellow Michigan libraries!
See the full list of libraries earning stars here.
Thu, 11/01/2018 - 2:41pm by mbt
The People Awards by Lily Murray
In this book, fifty historical people who changed the world are given awards starting with The Curiosity Award (Albert Einstein) and ending with The One Voice Award (Malala Yousafzai) with everything in between. Kids will be familiar with many of the honorees, such as Ellen Degeneres (The Love is Love Award) and J.K. Rowling (The Most Magical Muggle Award) while discovering others for the first time. Each award winner gets a formal portrait and selected scenes from their lives are illustrated. There are also other smaller awards sections, such as The Brilliant Idea Awards and The Trailblazer Awards, that give a brief summary of four or five individuals. Intended for youth, this colorful book will engage readers of all ages, including David Bowie fans.
Wed, 10/31/2018 - 8:44am by muffy
Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden has a habit of sneaking out of the palace. After being jilted at the altar and sent into exile by her grandmother the Queen, she is back and ready to assume her royal duties as the next in line for the throne. A steamy kiss in a local bar with the sexy Scotsman Nick Cameron seems like a harmless rebound until she learns his true identity. Before she could walk away, he blackmails her into helping him find his missing brother Christian - Thea’s ex-fiancé.
As the pair digs into Christian’s work as a lawyer, they discover a secret that could destroy the monarchy, and the conspirators will stop at nothing to gain the information. “The progressive princess proves to be as resilient as she is rebellious. Even when her throne is threatened, she insists that “human lives are more important than our culture!” Under her reign, “happily ever after” gets a refreshing update. This imaginative, absorbing, and empowering story is a must-read.” (Kirkus Reviews)
* = Starred review
Wed, 10/24/2018 - 7:29am by muffy
Convenience Store Woman * * by Sayaka Murata marks the English-language debut of one of Japan’s most talented contemporary writers. In 2016 she won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, and was named a Woman of the Year by Vogue Japan. The author herself worked at a convenience store in Japan and still finds the time to do the occasional shift.
36 year-old Keiko Furukura has been working at the same Tokyo convenience store for literally half of her life. While colleagues and managers come and go, Keiko remains - finding purpose and satisfaction in the routine. Considered since childhood to be peculiar, her work allows Keiko a sense of normalcy. While family and friends continue to pressure Keiko to seek a “proper job” and to marry, she boldly strikes a deal with the lazy, shifty irascible Shiraha.
“Alienation gets deliciously perverse treatment in Convenience Store Woman . . . the book’s true brilliance lies in Murata’s way of subverting our expectations . . . With bracing good humor . . . Murata celebrate(s) the quiet heroism of women who accept the cost of being themselves.” (NPR “Fresh Air”)
* * = 2 starred reviews
Fri, 10/19/2018 - 11:34am by eli
Ann Arbor District Library
Request for Proposal for Snow Removal
The Ann Arbor District Library is requesting proposals for the following service:
Wed, 10/17/2018 - 10:00am by muffy
Apocalyptic Manhattan. 2 debuts giving voice to 2 reluctant heroines.
When a pandemic called Shen Fever sweeps New York, decimating its population and threatening to shut down the city, for unknown reasons, Candace Chen is spared. Unfervered, she agrees to remain at the Manhattan book publisher while others flee. Sequestering herself in the office tower except for her daily walk with her camera, she captures the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost. On the last day of her contract, Candace commandeers a yellow cab and meets up with a ragtag group of survivors in Pennsylvania, led by the self-appointed leader named Bob who assures them if they make it to the “Facility”(shopping center) near Chicago, they would have all it needs to restart society.
But Candace is carrying a secret that Bob plans to exploit. Imprisoned and isolated, Candace realizes her only option is to escape into the unknown.
Suicide Club : a novel about living * by Rachel Heng. “Fans of modern speculative fiction and readers who love stories that warn us to be careful what we wish for will be enthralled by Heng's highly imaginative debut, which deftly asks, "What does it really mean to be alive?" (Library Journal)
Lea Kirino is a "Lifer," which means that if she does everything right, she has the potential to live forever.
At 100, she has a great job, a pedigreed fiancé, and good habits that would optimize her lifespan. But Lea's perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. A misstep marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society's pursuit of immortality. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.
* * = 2 starred reviews
* = Starred review
Thu, 10/11/2018 - 2:11pm by Lucy S
Did you know that there is fish called the sarcastic fringehead? I learned about this strangely-named, huge-mouthed, sharp-toothed fish from Steve Jenkins and Robin Page in their highly informative and entertaining book, Look at Me! How to attract Attention in the Animal World. This wonderful compendium of demonstrative animal behavior contains many examples of times when animals want to stand out rather than stay hidden.
Jim Arnosky also has a new book about animals called Look at Me! Wild Animal Show-Offs. His captivating illustrations are accompanied by personal details of his observations of unique animal performances in the wild.
Melissa Stewart highlights different outstanding characteristics in the animal world in Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs. Her book takes a humorous approach in presenting facts about those sometimes less admired animals; the ones that sleep the most, smell the worst, or take up the least amount of space. Stephanie Laberis’ illustrations add to the humor.
Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:42am by howarde
Reading with Patrick: the 2019 Washtenaw Read
The 2019 Washtenaw Read is the non-fiction memoir Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, A Student, and Life-Changing Friendship by Michelle Kuo. This title was chosen from between the two finalists by a panel of distinguished judges from Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Northfield Township, Saline, and Ypsilanti.
In the final months of 2018, copies of Reading with Patrick will be plentifully available at the library, and you will find a display with books at each of our five locations. Pick up a copy, give it a read, and join us for a full slate of events in the new year, including an author event with Michelle Kuo. (Check back for details about upcoming events as we add them.)
Mon, 10/08/2018 - 8:36pm by muffy
Author/television writer Rebecca Serle’s young adult novel Famous In Love (2014) has been adapted into a television series. In her first novel for adults The Dinner List, “(t)hemes of love, loss, and forgiveness weave through (an) intriguing mix of the real and the fanciful.” (Booklist)
Arriving at the restaurant for her 30th birthday dinner with her best friend Jessica, Sabrina Nielsen finds 4 other guests seated at the table - the 5 people, dead or alive, she had picked to have dinner with when challenged by Jessica their junior year at USC. There is Audrey Hepburn, her father’s favorite actress (and Sabrina his favorite of Hepburn’s movies); Robert, her father who deserted the family when she was 5 and never looked back; Conrad, her college professor/mentor who has been a steady influence; and Tobias, her ex-fiance and a talented photographer.
Over the course of the dinner, it becomes clear that there's a reason these six people have been gathered together. “Serle alternates chapters of the dinner party with the story of Sabrina and Tobias’ romance, deftly, slowly revealing how and why they broke up.”(Kirkus Reviews) As midnight approaches and the guests depart, Sabrina observes that “This dinner began as a reminder of all I have lost, but as I watch them now, all I can feel is profoundly grateful.”