Alexandra Marshall

Reviews

The Court of Common Pleas More about this title

"In this finely mapped novel, Alexandra Marshall tracks the twists and turns taken by [Audrey and Gregory Brennan] when they confront unexpected tragedy and opportunity. With its graceful, frequent changes in point of view, the book possesses unusual integrity; all the well-drawn characters have their say, and the resulting story resists easy labeling. The Court of Common Pleas is a precise travelogue through territory that's notoriously difficult to chart—the ways intelligent people navigate life's unexpected detours and draw on their shared history to make sense of it all." — Kimberly B. Marlowe, The New York Times Book Review

"In The Court of Common Pleas the novelist Alexandra Marshall gives us a sensitive portrait of a contented marriage suddenly in crisis as, without warning, a husband and wife—both mature, reasonable, loving people who have walked through life side by side—realize that they have arrived in different places. ...With tact and sympathy tempering her authorial tough-mindedness, Marshall creates a cast of realistically flawed characters caught up in a realistically ambiguous story. Our last glimpse of the Brennans is at a moment of carefully negotiated equilibrium, not to be confused with the pat happy ending a less honest novelist would have tossed our way after making us care so much about these people." — Amanda Heller, The Boston Globe

"With an unusual writing style that darts in and out of her characters' private thoughts like a shuttle in the hands of a master weaver, Alexandra Marshall has written a fine and moving narrative of a good marriage about to unravel in the throes of a midlife crisis. The Court of Common Pleas is a novel of unusual warmth and humanity." — Anita Shreve

"Once again, Alexandra Marshall practices her specialty—the diagnosis of contemporary marriage—and she makes us care about this husband and wife, and about their problem that serves as a lens through which we see how to unravel, not cut, the knottedness of middle-aged love. The wisdom here is useful, the prose is lithe, and the story is irresistible." — Frederick Busch

"The Court of Common Pleas is a vivid dispatch from the guerilla war called marriage, the combat zone where the outcome is ever in doubt. A fine, vibrant novel." — Ward Just


Still Waters More about this title

"Marshall's prose is elegant and vibrant and fresh. ... The sentences gleam like crystal." — Lee Grove, Boston Magazine

"Alexandra Marshall's account of her year-long observation of a New England beaver pond shows that those waters are anything but still. The pond and its environs brim with life as does the affecting narrative written with a poet's feeling and a scientist's attention to detail. Not since Thoreau have experiences surrounding a Massachusetts pond been as worthy of our attention." The Christian Science Monitor (Editor's Choice)


Gus in Bronze More about this title

"Marshall has the essential novelist's gift ... the creation of vivid characters... Gus in Bronze is a Love Story about grown-ups, written by somebody with a grown-up mind." — Katha Pollitt, The New York Times Book Review

"This is a most moving book, spare and taut, peopled with characters one cares about, dramatic and understated." — Charles H. Gold, Chicago Daily News


Tender Offer More about this title

"Eclectic, insightful observations and wry humor ..." People Magazine

"Alexandra Marshall compresses a story as revealing and relevant as Ordinary People with insights which are fresh and imaginatively expressed." Boston Herald


The Brass Bed More about this title

"Alexandra Marshall's new novel is full of everything I love about novels. It is one of the few books I have read in a long time that I can honestly say I didn't want to end, except for the fact that I was dying to know how it came out." The Boston Globe

"A beautiful novel ...captivating, humorous and tender ...a joyous affirmation." Newsday


Something Borrowed More about this title

"Marshall is that true rarity, a novelist full of wise observations, mordant wit and a fine comic sense. ... A mixture of rue and humor and wistful speculation that explores what the epigraph calls the "ache of marriage," Something Borrowed is a pleasure to read." San Francisco Chronicle

"Marshall brilliantly anatomizes what Chaucer's Wife of Bath called the 'wo that is marriage,' ...[and] deftly provides her characters with options and opportunities to behave well." Baltimore Sun

"A glorious portrait of marriage, divorce, and true love. Something Borrowed takes on the complex and fascinating web that is domestic life and gets it right every time." — Alice Hoffman

"This is a wonderful book, a beautiful work of fiction. It's funny, sexy, sad, and wise..." — Christopher Tilghman

"Finally, a book about grown-ups. Alexandra Marshall has a knowing eye for families—neither nuclear nor smoothly blended—who have been through the Cuisinart of divorce. Something Borrowed is a welcome album of mixed emotions at midlife." — Ellen Goodman