By Nathan Hill
Review by: Linda Parkyn
The Nix is a great rambling family saga, alternating chapters between a mother and son. The majority of the mothers’ life is told in five chapters that take place in 1968 and the five chapters primarily about the son take place in 2011. The chapters alternate and often enlighten each other. The story is huge, it tells the dynamics in their familial relationships as well as both of their underlying reasons for how they interpret the world.
The author writes in the tradition of the great American novel. In telling this one story- he takes the reader through hundreds of other stories and his tangents within the larger story are often the most fun! If you are looking for lots of twists and surprises in action- this is NOT your novel. But if you are after superb story telling and wonderful little side tales of how these people make sense of the world you will love it. I kept imaging Nathan Hill sitting at his desk and just spilling his guts on myriad topics as he wrote. This novel reminds me of Donna Tartt’s masterpiece- The Goldfinch. In my book- five stars!
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About the reviewer: Linda Parkyn is a recently retired college professor from Chicago who is so glad she found a great library system in Chester County when she relocated this summer!