I liked the other novels that I have read by Gran, both of which were mysteries from her Claire Dewitt series. And I enjoyed her first novel as well. Saturn's Return to New York was not a mystery, but a slice-of-life about a thirty something New Yorker dealing with her bubbling emotions concerning her family and friends as she navigates the drug addled and angst drenched city. Gran's writing is comfortable and quick for all her dark topics. She whisks you along like a well informed but apathetic tour guide in your favorite city. And you want to see where the tour will lead you.
Mary's an underachieving book lover writing reviews for an online seller and living comfortably, ambiguously but a little annoyedly under her mother's cold literary shadow. But when her mother falls ill, Mary must face her true feelings about their relationship, as well as the one with her long dead father. Soon all Mary's relationships come under scrutiny and it seems the planets are malaligned over her New York.
I'd recommend Saturn's Return to New York to anyone who likes books about New York City, especially mildly gritty, angry ones. Or who like female authors who write about sex and drugs and rock & roll. Gran's writing reminds me of a more cynical, less mystical, old person version of the Weetzie Bat series by Francesca Lia Block. Even dealing with serious themes of loss and death, this is a pretty light an easy read. It would make a great plane book, I'm sure! You could bring it to the beach, but all the New York talk will make you feel like you should be dressed in chic head to toe black.
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