literary fiction / review

A Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett

A Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett was a very solid four stars until the twist. I saw this described as satire but to me, it was a slightly heightened alt world. I loved the little world, the faux Ikea/start-up culture and setting, and the idea of the perfect box. So much fun!

I guessed there was something off about Mat and his “Good Guy” classes but my guess seemed more aligned with the rest of the book; that it would turn into a discussion of what makes someone a “good guy”. If they are faking it with the help of a group does it make him less “good” than if he came up with the lovely piano tour and other thoughtful gestures himself? It reminded me of how we only know how people present themselves to us and how we have to dig below the surface. My prediction seemed both logical and aligned with the style and the thoughtfulness of the rest of the book.

Instead, they came in with a sledgehammer and revealed what Mat has done and the book ends quickly. The book turned on a dime into some cheap “shocking reveal” thriller. Why?? At the very least I would have liked more about how she dealt with that knowledge. But nope, the book just ended. She did track down and adopt his dog, Emily which was something but what were the authors thinking?

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