“Rosa was a perfect example of an only child, thought Claire – she behaved herself, but it was because she was always on the stage and the lights were always up. “

smiley2If you were a novelist, what compliment would you most like to see in a review of your work?  A comparison to Tolstoy, perhaps? That compliment was in fact given in the British newspaper, the Guardian, in a review of Jane Smiley’s novel Early Warnings, the second in a trilogy set in Iowa.  The reviewer, English novelist Christobel Kent, wrote that Smiley’s “faultless skill” in bringing a large set of characters to life, her “feeling for territory and landscape,” and her “combination of impatient intellect, emotional perspicacity and unfailing humanity” were reminiscent of the Russian master.  I agree!

Jane Smiley, Early Warnings (New York: Anchor Books, 2016). p. 45.

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