Emma Donoghue’s novel Room...is a triumph.... The same cannot be said of Donoghue’s new novel, Frog Music, which is based on a true-life unsolved murder that occurred on the outskirts of San Francisco in the summer of 1876.... Frog Music refuses to come to life, quietly collapsing under the weight of its own tedium. This may be a function both of the thinness of the actual story on which it’s based and of Donoghue’s failure to develop it.... [T]he plot doesn’t gain any traction, repetitively hitting the same two beats, the loss of the child and the unsolved murder.
Patrick McGrath - New York Times Book Review
(Starred review.) Donoghue's first literary crime novel is a departure from her bestselling Room, but it's just as dark and just as gripping as the latter.... Aside from the obvious whodunit factor, the book is filled with period song lyrics and other historic details, expertly researched and flushed out.... Donoghue's signature talent for setting tone and mood elevates the book from common cliffhanger to a true chef d'oeuvre.
(Starred review.) Donoghue's evocative language invades the senses.... Readers won't quickly forget this rollicking, fast-paced novel, which is based on a true story and displays fine bits of humor with underlying themes of female autonomy and the right to own one's sexual identity. —Sally Bissell, Fort Myers, FL
(Starred review.) Donoghue flawlessly combines literary eloquence and vigorous plotting in her first full-fledged mystery, a work as original and multifaceted as its young murder victim.... An engrossing and suspenseful tale about moral growth, unlikely friendship, and breaking free from the past. —Sarah Johnson
More fine work from one of popular fiction's most talented practitioners.... Donoghue's vivid rendering of Gilded Age San Francisco is notable for her atmospheric use of popular songs and slang in Blanche's native French, but the book's emotional punch comes from its portrait of a woman growing into self-respect as she takes responsibility for the infant life she's created.
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