It is hard to read through Loyd’s novel without stopping to digest her lovely prose. Nearly every sentence has layers of meaning…. Loyd’s words read like the best kind of poetry. There are lines that leave you thinking about larger truths.
New York Daily News
Loyd is acute and unsparing in her portrayal of Celia’s grief over the loss of her husband. Though the chapters are short and the radius of action is small, Affairs still feels substantial. Celia moves almost ghostlike through her own apartment, her building, the streets of Brooklyn and the reaches of her mind, with the reader being just as absorbed in her thoughts as she is.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
This is a book filled with larger-than-life feelings, raw nerves, and sexual intrigue. Small details of everyday life become fraught with as much passion as stolen moments in presumed privacy… Remarkably, Loyd creates a dramatic tension that gives the most domestic of concerns a lusty weight because of what they mask—betrayal, love, and violence.
From start to finish, Loyd’s prose flows exquisitely through the story, as she limns the depths of the protagonist’s mind, the complexity of human intimacy, and the idiosyncrasies of each new character with the grace of a seasoned novelist.
[A] mesmerizing debut….beautifully, even feverishly described. As Celia discovers, the magnetic pull of other people's everyday experiences proves impossible to resist.
For first-time novelist Amy Grace Loyd, an apartment building is not simply housing. It is also a metaphor for the paradoxical isolation and proximity we feel among others...With forceful, sensual prose (the author is captivated by the scents of people and places), Loyd allows Celia to discover that ‘life had as many gains as losses as long as we were willing to tally them.
A riveting, raw debut…. Loyd brilliantly keeps us holding our breath as Celia's barriers disintegrate, her rules fall away, and the shield she holds so tightly over her heart slowly lowers….Stunningly rendered, acutely emotional.
Lloyd’s burnished, spare sentences conceal hidden volumes of emotion, and in its different moods, the book may put readers in mind of Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland or of a more hopeful version of Claire Messud’s recent The Woman Upstairs.
Widowed five years earlier, Celia Cassil....chose the tenants in her Brooklyn brownstone for their discretion and respect for “separateness.” When one of them moves to France, she reluctantly allows him to sublet his apartment to Hope.... Not long after Hope moves in, another of Celia’s tenants...disappears, and his daughter holds Celia responsible. [A] character study...narrow in scope but long on intensity and emotion
Celia Cassill...still in mourning for her young husband...is isolated and withdrawn. Now she finds herself pulled into the problems of her tenants.... [A]a sophisticated, sympathetic, and beautifully written portrayal of contemporary individuals who come to share more than just an apartment building. —Leslie Patterson, Rehoboth, MA
Loyd’s writing is rich and elegant, with elements of allusion and allegory and beguiling characters to draw readers in. Dark and sensual, with just a touch of suspense, this first novel offers a heartwrenchingly honest story about grief while still allowing for a glimmer of hope.
[C]uriously flat: Celia is matter-of-fact and, it seems, scarcely involved in the heart of her own story; only the supporting players seem to feel much of anything.... As a result, the feel of the book overall is more memoir than novel.... More emotional investment would have given this story, competent though it is, more life.
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