In this comic yet meaningful tale, Orner takes us through four decades told in well-nuanced vignettes. The story unfolds as if we were polite birds sitting on the shoulders of the main characters, experiencing what they experience, and relating those emotions and timeless moments to our own lives. Orner weaves a delightful tale of love and sorrow and all the peaks and valleys in between.

Alexander Popper’s life is not easy. As the newest addition to the Popper family of overachievers, struggling renaissance men and women, and those who languish in their own failings and foibles, at last some meaning comes to Alexander as he studies those closest to him, and determines how to either sink or swim. We travel with Alexander through four decades of reflection, love, life, loss and perseverance. (LITTLE, BROWN, Nov., 448 pp., $24.99)

Reviewed by: 
Lauren Brathwaite