Stewart OвЂ™Nan may simply be genetically incapable of writing a bad book. His characters are written with precision, intelligence and verisimilitude; theyвЂ™re so luminously alive that a reader can accurately guess about what theyвЂ™re eating for dinner or what brand toothpaste they use.
In EMILY, ALONE, Mr. OвЂ™Nan revisits Emily, the Maxell family matriarch from a prior book, Wish You Were Alone. Anyone who is seeking an action-based book or вЂњa story arcвЂќ (as taught in college writing classes) will be sorely disappointed. But for those readers who are intrigued by a near-perfect portrait of a winningly flawed elderly woman who is still alive with anxieties, hopes, and frustrations, this is an unsparingly candid and beautifully rendered novel.
Headquarters has decided to shut down the Red Lobster restaurant in a small mall in New Britain, Connecticut. We spend its last twelve hours in it with the restaurant manager, a Latino man named Manny DeLeon, as he struggles to keep his ship afloat just one more time, in the face of an impending New England snowstorm and an unmotivated crew.