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The Infinite Onion

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The truth is harder to hide when someone sharp starts poking around.

Grant Eastbrook hit the ground crawling after his wife kicked him out. Six months later, in Seattle without a job or a place to live, he escapes to the woods of nearby Vashon Island to consider his options. When hes found sleeping outdoors by a cheerful man who seems bent on irritating him to death, Grants
ebook, 388 pages
Published March 31st 2020 by Shine Even If
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*update: I downgraded to one star. I sat on my feelings and I hated it even more the longer I thought about it.*

I truthfully don't know how to rate this book, and so I'm settling on two-stars for now, though, to be honest, I pretty much hated this story. I have a feeling I'm going to be in the extreme minority with this one so take my review with a grain of salt.

*possible minor spoilers ahead*

I can see that most of my friends loved The Infinite Onion and thought it was a beautiful story. I
Sometimes a book just grabs hold of you and doesnt let go.

Sometimes a book fills you with so much emotion you feel like you might explode.

I wonder if I was supposed to feel overwhelming sadness? Really, I felt overwhelming hope and joy.

This book killed me in the best of ways and I loved every single bit of it.

This book was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

I started it and read until about 65% and then didnt pick it up for a full day. I wanted to devour it when I started and then
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm thrown by this book.

I didn't like either of the MCs for the longest time. They meet each other at the respective lowest points in their lives. And neither is self-aware.

The writing is phenomenal, and it kept me going. I figured there had to be a big payoff. Archer wouldn't let me down.

And she didn't. I went from "the writing is great, but am I gonna grow to like either of these men any time soon?" to "Holy hell, that was SUCH a satisfying climax and ending."

Natasha is a Book Junkie
Oliver goddamn Rossi. A guy like an onion unwilling to give up its outer layer, the reluctant skin coming away in thin strips. A poke into the juicier layers would only provoke a sharp sting.

There are writers whose prose is so vivid and so emotionally resonant, that you might briefly forget youre reading a work of fiction, and while Alice Archer has already proven that her hand is as elegant as it is masterful, her newest novel continues to show real insight into the human soul. An
Jenny - TotallybookedBlog
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing

4.5 unforgettable stars!

Not a soul on earth knows where I am. If no one knew where I was, no one could kick me out.

The Infinite Onion by Alice Archer came as such a wonderful, passionately written surprise. As the title suggests this book was indeed a story built on layers of human emotions, human struggles, human behaviour as well as consequences. This is the first book weve read by this author and we were in awe of the depth of story and character development. Right from the beginning, a
Gitte TotallyBookedBlog
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020


Not a soul on earth knows where I am. If no one knew where I was, no one could kick me out.

The Infinite Onion by Alice Archer came as such a wonderful, passionately written surprise. As the title suggests this book was indeed a story built on layers of human emotions, human struggles, human behaviour as well as consequences. This is the first book weve read by this Author and we were in awe of the depth of story and character development. Right from the beginning, a steady drum of momentum built
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: m-m, 2020-reads
At first, I was going to rant. Then, the next morning, I considered how uncharitable doing such a thing would be, especially with an ARC. Now, I'm doing it anyway. Though I might try to be... nicer? I don't know.

But before I start, I just wanna say that if you loved Everyday History , like loved it so much, and no part of it made you want to throw your e-reader at a wall, I would ignore this review entirely because you clearly have way more patience than I do. Be warned though, if Everyday
Lisa The Novel Approach
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
My love for Alice Archers Everyday History was a deep, visceral thing. In a sea of contemporary romance novels, Archers characters and their problematic entanglements stood out as something just that little bit different, and her lush and lyrical writing style clicked with me in a way that left me at a complete loss for words to describe it. It appears lightning has struck twice now, with The Infinite Onion. This gorgeous romance is chock absolutely full of all the charm and wisdom and metaphor ...more
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
4.5 stars. After reading and loving Everyday History, I was eager to immerse myself into Alice Archer's writing again. This one stars two lovable and frustrating characters, Grant Eastbrook and Oliver Rossi. Grant has hit hard times, having recently divorced and losing his job at a copy center with no real plan or place to go. This is par for the course for Grant given that he lacks ambition or passion. He is simply cruising along in life with no particular destination or goal. Truthfully, I was ...more
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
We intersected, Oliver and I. Poked each other with our sharpness. Pierced and stung each other. Invade and evade. Lie and spy. A flick of the pen and our two onions became a loop of infinity, a mess of swirls with mass and spin and hidden depths, an endless intrigue.

Alice Archers prose, her elegant way with words and her imaginative storytelling brought The Infinite Onion to life. The story is set on Vashon Island and it becomes its own character, the beauty she was able to evoke in my mind
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 Gigantic Stars 

This book literally took me by surprise. I read Ms. Archers previous work Everyday History, so I knew the story-line and writing would be solid. I was simply mesmerized by the main characters, though. Both men were initially exceedingly unlikable but as the title references, an onion that has to have its multiple layers peeled away, the reader needs patience to see the real men that exist underneath the layers of misplaced love, unrealistic expectations and lies. This is not a
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, 2020, mine-kindle
Thanks to the author and publisher via A Novel Take for a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

The onion layers metaphor always immediately makes me think of Shrek and ogres.. (onions have layers, ogres have layers), but there really aren't any ogres in this story. Well, Grant starts off a little grumpy and ogre-like, but he's going through a rough patch, so we'll forgive him.

This story is also reminiscent of On Walden Pond with the camping and all the nature. The island sounds
Review to come.

** I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. **
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that I really need to wrap my head around before I write my review, so stay tuned!
Carol (bookish_notes)
Review to come!

***Thanks to A Novel Take PR for the ARC!***
This book is remarkable. I loved every sentence of this book and can't wait for a little time to pass so that I can read it again. The plot is intriguing and well thought out, the characters are absolutely a delight... so intricate and involved. This is one that I would highly recommend! Let me tell you. few things about why I think this is so great.

One of the best things about this novel are the characters. That may seem like an odd thing to say, but not every novel has great characters. The
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would rate this 4.5 stars.

Grant is so unhappy being a worker drone in Seattle, he burns his whole life down six months after his divorce. His defenses are so high, the only one he seems to lower them for is his nephew Kai. When he ends up camping rough on Vashon Island to try and figure out his life, he meets an artist named Oliver who challenges him. Sparks fly as Oliver likes irritating Grant with a strange arrangement meant to get him back on his feet. Oliver has demons of his own and
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Grant has never felt more like a failure. Hes lost his marriage, his job and now his pride. His only option is to secretly stay in an isolated cabin owned by his exs arrogant brother. Hes hoping that Vashon Island will be the inspiration that he needs to find his way again. Instead, he finds a man who insists on probing his most vulnerable feelings and who is more infuriating mystery than anyone else that hes ever known.

With practiced movements, Oliver grabbed stuff from drawers and cabinets
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
An author I follow and respect has been raving about Alice Archer for a while now so when I had to opportunity to read her latest novel, The Infinite Onion, I didn't hesiate to read it. I'm so glad I did. This novel is the sort of absorbing meditation on loss, hurt, grief, nature, and love that took me away from my current worries and left me hoping and content by the end of my reading.

From the synopsis you can see that one character, Grant, finds himself in the unenviable position of no job and
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, this one was heavy!

I admit that I didn't like Oliver at the beginning. All he did, in a matter of speaking, was kick Grant when he was at his lowest: hungry, homeless and dirty. The fact that, in hindsight, it was obviously the push Grant has needed to reevaluate his life, doesn't take away the unnecessary added distress it has caused him.

Honestly, that's all Oliver and Grant have done throughout the book: push each  other out their comfort zones and challenge their boundaries. Simply put,
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Long slow burn for Alice Archer's new book. Not quite enemies to lovers, because Grant and Oliver aren't enemies. But it starts to feel that way.

Grant is at his lowest. He could fall lower, but there isn't a very big fall from camping on Vashon Island in a tent to homeless in Seattle. After a chance encounter with Oliver, Grant does one of the hardest things for him, ask for help. In exchange for use of Oliver's outside amenities (shower, kitchen, laundry), Grant has to do some chores for Oliver
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An amazingly deep and full of feels read that I could not put down. It has that perfect balanced blend of drama, passion, emotion, and troubles.

It's an intense read full of agony and longing.
The characters are well written and engaging, as are the majority of the secondary characters. It's about two broken men, who start off as adverseries and eventually become so much more. Their path is not smooth, but the rewards at the end of their story are great.

I absolutely loved both Grant and Oliver,
Ellen ✦ Book Bellas ✦
Alice Archer became one of my very favorite authors after her extraordinary first book 'Everyday History'. I completely adored that story! I am in the minority for 'The Infinite Onion' but nevertheless I did enjoy the lovely story of two damaged characters, Grant and Oliver. Their love story is sweet and verrrrra sexy but the journey there is definitely a slow-burn one.

I enjoyed the beautiful Pacific Northwest setting of Vashon Island but several things kept this from being a more enjoyable
Apr 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Infinite Onion by Alice Archer was a much more complex book than I anticipated and it got me so engrossed I stayed up late to finish it, which in these challenging times is a good thing! While both of the MCs, Grant the homeless and Oliver with the great home, are flawed individuals, the depth of the fault lines only comes out over the course of the book. Without any spoilers, I was surprised by what hid inside Oliver. Ive always been fascinated with artists and Oliver was no exception. He ...more
Katie Durante
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5-3 stars.
So I went to mark this with three stars and couldn't because it says you liked the book which I did at moments.
I went to explain this book to a friend and it fleshed out my feelings on it and those feelings weren't great.
I liked Oliver at the beginning. I did not at the end very much at all.
I didn't like Grant at the beginning. He grew on me a little by the end.
I kept getting lost in the formatting with the storyline running present day one moment and fleshing into this weird
Lyndsay TC
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Once I started on Grant and Oliver's adventure, I could not put it down. Alice Archer has a way to tell a story that sucks you in and doesn't let you go until you finish it. Her descriptions of places, people and situations is so vivid sort of like Oliver's home and Grant's tent. You could picture both equally in your mind when you were reading. This story about two men who had to find and fight with each other to heal the wounds from their past was absolutely beautiful. The story flowed ...more
Joscelyn Smith
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved Grant but hated Oliver because seriously WTF! I did like the story and the characters were well-written enough to cause a really visceral reaction, I really really did not like Oliver. Help a person because they need help, don't make them jump through stupid hoops first. All in all an enjoyable read, except for a certain a-hole character.

*I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by A Novel Take PR*
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh man, what a story! I loved it so much. The Grant and Oliver are so wonderful. Their interactions are so full of wit, banter, hurt, love. Sometimes they tore me apart but most of the time I just wanted to be there and help them get through to where they were headed. It was not an easy trip for them but that's why I loved the story so much!
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
It started out less than auspiciously. I had to push through some deep discomfort in order not to DNF. By the end, it slowly turned "not entirely terrible", but alas, the bad already outweighed the good by then.
I'm happy to move on.


*ARC provided by A Novel Take *
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Alice Archer has lots of questions. Scheming to put fictional characters through the muck so they can get to a better place helps her find answers.

She shares her stories with the hope that others might find some healing too. Alice has messed about with words professionally for many years as an editor and writing coach.

She also travels a bunch. Her home base is Eugene, Oregon.

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