Unexpected . . . Each story stands alone and is satisfying to read, but taking the collection together, seeing the connections intertwine and having those moments of clarity and understanding elevate The Balcony into a truly mesmerising read. I thought it was intelligently written, beautifully constructed and fascinating
A delicate fretwork of lives, relationships and secrets . . . Strikingly deft and nuanced; a writer to watch.
Jane Delury arrives on the scene of her debut with a sensibility fully formed and a breathtaking array of writerly gifts at her command.
Jane Delury arrives on the scene of her debut with a sensibility fully formed and a breathtaking array of writerly gifts at her command
In lucid prose, the author weaves together deeply involving stories centring on the house, moving back and forth in time, through war and other human catastrophes, rendering a very real France
The tensions between country-idyll expectations and dispiriting realities course throughout this shimmering debut novel, whose time-hopping narrative depicts the interconnected journeys of the estate's sundry inhabitants from its 19th-century origins to the recent past.
The prose is sharp, and the stories are instantly engaging.
A subtly crafted and richly rewarding debut . . . This narrative structure - stand-alone stories woven around a central figure - is reminiscent of "Olive Kitteridge," Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning book of stories built around the title character. It is no stretch to mention Delury and Strout in the same sentence: Delury's debut book, with wise observations, intriguing twists and indelibly drawn characters, is filled with reading pleasures . . . a compelling saga spanning France's past century, a period in which the manor, ravaged by wars and time, survives as a silent witness.
Riveting . . . [the] stories, related in spare but evocative prose, offer fresh looks at human appetites - sex, love, money, art, culture - while exploring the ups and downs of childhood, family, friendship and aging . . . a compelling saga