Critics uniformly praised Somerville's moving debut about the meaning of family and its power to heal. Somerville's spare but buoyant prose strikes the right emotional balance, expressive without being sentimental, and his fast-moving plot steers steadily between the profound and the whimsical toward a satisfying conclusion without ever veering into melodrama. Despite a few flawsósome awkward narrative shifts, one-dimensional characters, and clich»sóThe Cradle is a finely crafted full-length novel skillfully condensed into just over 200 pages. "As a writer, I'm still wondering how Somerville created this exquisitely complex story on such a small canvas," noted the New York Times Book Review critic. "As a reader, I'm glad he did."
This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.