“Warner captures the New Mexican landscape beautifully: the gold of cottonwood trees in fall; the gush of desert spring; the delicate and smothering way snow falls in the mountains. But it is the placing of everyday human life directly inside this landscape that allows Warner to create such a striking portrait of the American Southwest. Her descriptions illuminate not the grandeur of a Western-film backdrop but the details of real life: making chorizo for breakfast; owning a small business; the ordinariness of sex and infidelity.
Peggy’s old tarot deck provides an interesting frame for the novel, with illustrations and explanations of certain cards beginning each chapter. Warner also plays with verb tense throughout, a stylistic choice that merges well with the narrative thread of fortune telling. In the end, it is perhaps the very tentativeness of all the houses we build around and within ourselves that Sophie’s story reveals most.”
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