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The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done: A Novelby Sandra Newman
Synopses & Reviews
When Chrysalis Moffat and her brother, Eddie, inherit a mansion on the coast of California, Eddie hatches a plan to fleece credulous Californians of their cash by starting the fraudulent Tibetan School of Miracles.
But something else is happening. Through Chrysalis's reunion with her brother, she begins to discover her adoptive father's secret past, causing her own identity to unravel. As Chrysalis lays down the facts of her life, she gambles her identity against the contradictions, half-truths, and fables of her past, leading her ultimately to question what it is we can truly know and whether it is fate or chance that dictates our lives.
"[A] first novel that is anything but by-the-numbers....This is a virtuoso performance, and if it sometimes reads like parody...it more than proves Newman a writer worth watching." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"A witty, imaginative debut from a young novelist with dazzling intellectual resources." Adrienne Miller, Esquire
"[B]rilliantly wicked....The jumpy plot and lack of transitions make The Only Good Thing a bit like watching a Seinfeld episode as seemingly random events converge in the final moments to tie everything together." Rebecca Stumpf, Dallas Morning News
"Newman retains the crucial sense of play that saves her writing from pretension and instead makes it fun....
"For young hipsters who can't be bothered with coherence." Kirkus Reviews
"The spiky, mechanical superstructure of Newman's novel isn't just a postmodern prank...but the thicket of cleverness is also a barrier between us and the story. I'd like to see what this undeniably talented writer can do without the gimmickry." Charles Matthews, San Jose Mercury News
"[A] penetrating voice that could one day garner a devout following. (Grade: B-)" Entertainment Weekly
About the Author
Born in America, Sandra Newman has lived in Germany, Russia, Malaysia, and England. Her professions have included copyediting, gambling, and typing. A student of the late W. G. Sebald, she now devotes herself to writing full-time. Sandra Newman lives in London and California.
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