Falling Out of Time (Knopf, $24.95) unfolds somewhere between folk tale, Greek tragedy, and a brilliant and innovative novel. Its structure, too, is multifaceted, with elements of prose, poetry, and drama combining for a narrative about strength and despair in the face of the loss of a child. The odd, eclectic characters that populate these pages—mothers, fathers, a net mender, a midwife, a chronicler, a centaur—also inhabit a liminal region somewhere between the present and the past. Though they must continue to live their daily lives, these characters cling to the past, the only place where the child still lives. David Grossman, author of To the End of the Land, movingly explores the territory of mourning and the complex passage through grief. His language (translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen) is by turns haunting, funny, and insightful; it intensifies, dissolves, and then resolves as the story progresses. Frequently, I found myself reading pages aloud; you’ll want to do the same.
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