Henry Reviews: emissourian.com and The Seattle Times

emissourian.png

“Henry Himself” is a character-driven novel, the quiet story of a man from the greatest generation who finally learns at 75 to stop worrying about his past and any mistakes he may have made and to start living for for the moment. I enjoyed this simple novel, felt like I was reading about my dad.

[more]

 

seattle.png

“Henry, Himself” is a beautiful book with a touch of the ineffable about it, and the best novel I have read so far this year.

[more]

Advertisements

Henry, Himself on New York Times Editors’ Choice List!

henry_nyt_rec.png

It’s May, after all, and in this part of the world the trees have started budding and the birds that aren’t extinct have started singing. What better time to read Ali Smith’s novel “Spring,” which balances its political anxieties with emotional complexity and a warmth appropriate to the season? Continuing with fiction, you might pick up Stewart O’Nan’s character study “Henry, Himself,” or settle in with Julie Orringer’s historical novel “The Flight Portfolio,” about Varian Fry’s exploits saving dissidents from the Nazis. Jennifer duBois is back, with a novel about a talk-show host who goes too far, and Laila Lalami sets her latest novel in the towns of the Mojave Desert, where a hit-and-run death ties together the stories of nine very different characters.

HENRY, HIMSELF, by Stewart O’Nan. (Viking, $27.) A novel that uses short vignettes to capture a year in the life of the Pittsburgh man whose shadow loomed over two of O’Nan’s earlier novels. Most of us know people like Henry from the outside; the gift of O’Nan’s fiction is to immerse us deeply in his essence. “This is a novel that charms not through the complexities of its plot but through its subtle revelations of character and the human condition,” Dominic Smith writes in his review.

[more]

Henry on Instagram

Some nice Instgrams for Henry Maxwell.

View this post on Instagram

Hello Friday and hello #bookmail! Thanks to @vikingbooks for sending along these gifted copies, both of which are on sale now. Check out the synopses below and let me know if either of them are on your list! They both sound great, but I'm really intrigued by Henry, Himself – it reminds me a bit of When All is Said, which is (so far) one of my favorite books of the year.⁣ ⁣ Henry, Himself by Stewart O'Nana⁣ Soldier, son, lover, husband, breadwinner, churchgoer, Henry Maxwell has spent his whole life trying to live with honor. A native Pittsburgher and engineer, he’s always believed in logic, sacrifice, and hard work. Now, seventy-five and retired, he feels the world has passed him by. It’s 1998, the American century is ending, and nothing is simple anymore. His children are distant, their unhappiness a mystery. Only his wife Emily and dog Rufus stand by him. Once so confident, as Henry’s strength and memory desert him, he weighs his dreams against his regrets and is left with questions he can’t answer: Is he a good man? Has he done right by the people he loves? And with time running out, what, realistically, can he hope for? ⁣ ⁣ A Wonderful Stroke of Luck by Anne Beattie⁣ As a member of the Honor Society at one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the country, Ben falls under the tutelage of Pierre LaVerdere, a brilliant, enigmatic teacher who instructs his charges on how to discuss current events, how to think about art and literature, and how to form opinions for themselves. Ben develops close friendships with LaVerdere's other disciples, and as the years go by the legacy of their teacher and his words remain strong. As Ben moves on, first to college and then New York City, he comes to feel the pace of his life accelerating, his relationships a jumble, and his career plans in a constant state of flux. After his father dies, a move upstate offers only temporary respite from his anxieties about work and romance and when LaVerdere returns to Ben's life, everything Ben once thought he knew about the man–and about himself–is called into question.

A post shared by Carrie | Boston Book Fanatic (@bostonbookfanatic) on

View this post on Instagram

#partner | Thank you so much to all of those tagged for the gifted copies in this stack! ••• Are you a mood reader or do you plan out what books you will read? I am unequivocally a mood reader. I used to try to plan out my TBR at the beginning of each month but the next thing I would know, it was time to plan out the next month and the stack of books I had planned to read were still sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be picked up 😂. I’ve let go of the idea of planning out exactly what I will read each month but I do typically have a stack of monthly hopefuls! This helps me keep track of ARCs and books that I still need to read. All of the books in this stack are unread but it won’t be hard to pick one from this stack to read even as a mood reader. There is some great variety here! And it helps that I’m looking forward to reading them all 😁

A post shared by Brooke (@brookesbooksandbrews) on

The New York Times Book Review: Stewart O’Nan Returns to the Fictional Maxwell Family

merlin_153866712_c182d9c0-dd3a-4bc0-b9b3-9d4ca5a2197f-jumbo.jpg

NYT/Klaus Kremmerz

When we watch Henry Maxwell, an aging Pittsburgher, wind the clocks of his house forward on the spring eve of daylight saving time, we are witnessing a man at the cusp of a new century. It’s 1998 and Henry is 74. A retired Westinghouse engineer, he has been married to the same woman, Emily, for nearly 50 years. After puttering in his basement with a jigsaw, cutting pieces for a spice rack that will be installed at his summer cottage in Chautauqua, he begins to move through the house, ministering to the clocks. “He wound the Black Forest cuckoo clock in the breakfast nook, waking the bird, inserted the key in the face of the grandfather clock and twisted, making the chimes ring as he brought the minute hand full circle. … Henry fixed the clock radios in the children’s rooms and the banjo clock in the den before adding an hour to his father’s watch and setting it on his dresser.” He then turns to his wife, who is reading in bed, and proclaims, “We are officially in the future.”

But the future exists for Henry as if through a fogged pane of glass in Stewart O’Nan’s beautifully spare and poignant new novel, “Henry, Himself.”

[more]