Today in Tablet Magazine, Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry reviews Nicole Krauss’ new bok, Great House. Like Krauss’ previous ones, it is a Great Big Novel of 20th-century Jewry, in a very appealing way. Less appealing, according to Ivry, is its unrelenting focus on hopelessness:
Great House, regrettably, lacks lightness, and the omission of any such breath is tough to endure. Characters’ monologue-like testimonies are engrossing, certainly, and full of pathos. The cast is passionate, but their emotions rarely stretch anywhere near exuberance, as if even the briefest display of something unrelated to despair would keep this from being a serious novel. Instead, Great House is sometimes strained by its seriousness … .