Books

The stories are shaved to the bone and razor-sharp.

In exquisite prose, Melamed shows us the dark colors of these serrated boundaries, and how people bleed when they push against them.

The rest of Roorbach’s stories operate the same way, sketching simple vignettes with refreshing clarity.

Told from alternating third person perspectives, the novel follows four women who are all juggling business, family, love, sex, pregnancy and existential crises — though not necessarily in that order.

Tóibín’s newest book, “The House of Names,” is an abrupt shift in tone and time; he has jumped from the contemporary to the ancient, from recent history to myth itself.

I wish I could say I got what I paid for, but if time is money in this heterosexist capitalist market economy, then I got even less.

Rising, roaring, riveting — “Swell” is a steady read, slowly escalating until the pages start to teem with the anxiety of every character’s life bursting through its seams.

“The Little French Bistro” attempts to tell the story of heartbreak, loss, second chances and the small joys in life through a group of well developed characters and overlapping romantic storylines.

I feel like that’s the purpose of the novel — to get it. To understand how a game, or a poem or a chalk drawing can experience what you’re experiencing.

The novel would be a fun and interesting read if its approaches to character development and female representation were less of an issue, but it is difficult to see too much around these things as they stand.