Zoe Whittall's engrossing and epic novel paints an indelible portrait of three women, each of them navigating the complex constraints of their bodies, their families, their obligations, and their desires. A daring and beautiful examination of motherhood, The Spectacular left me breathless.
Both raw and refined, The Spectacular is an insightful, poignant exploration of family and relationships from one of my favorite writers working today. A multigenerational story that's fully alive.
Birth, identity, sex, what a woman wants, the vagaries of desire, love nibbling at the heart, independence, forfeiture of self, mother . . . Zoe Whittall carves at all of this with her pen and lays it out on the page in this fierce and tender novel.
Zoe Whittall has this incredible ability to go straight at the honest emotional heart of a story, and yet even with that ferocity, her writing is always graceful, a total joy to read. It makes it so easy to love her characters. In the best books characters feel like my friends, but with the mothers of The Spectacular, they came to feel like my family.
The Spectacular gives us three brilliantly distinct voices of women challenging the societal expectations of who they should be . . . Zoe Whittall has a gift for vividly capturing our human behaviours, and for dialogue that will grab your heart. Both expansive and intimate, wild and tender, I loved it.
A fascinating stunner of a novel