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Bowlaway Reviews

Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken


Elizabeth McCracken

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 14 Mar 2019
ISBN: 9780224087117

From the day she is discovered unconscious in a New England cemetery at the beginning of the twentieth century - nothing but a bowling ball, a candlepin and fifteen pounds of gold on her person - Bertha Truitt is an enigma to everyone in Salford, Massachusetts.

4 stars out of 5
Lucy Atkins
10 Mar 2019

"It is exuberant, a bit bonkers and raw and unflinching"

McCracken is a firecracker stylist and every sentence, every image, is crafted for physical impact — pink blossom hangs from trees like lungs, a man’s tie licks the floor like a tongue. She lines up a colourful cast of contortionists, show girls and ghost hunters, then knocks them down with spontaneous combustion, molasses floods or slabs of stone. However, all the jaunty eccentricity and whimsy can feel tiresome, and in fact the quieter, more ordinary moments are generally more powerful....Bowlaway though, is not supposed to be a quiet book. It is exuberant, a bit bonkers and raw and unflinching. It will find a great many fans — and no doubt some awards, too. If you enjoy quirks and eccentricities, cranks and loons, you’ll probably love it.