Cover image for Miracles in America
Miracles in America
Kohler, Sheila.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf, 1990.
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Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This curious collection by the author of The Perfect Place offers 12 imaginative stories, set mainly in Europe, whose intriguing openings are as promising as their inconclusive endings are disappointing. Typically, Kohler's carefully constructed scenes interweave recurring characters and settings, and describe marriages, children and a plethora of unnamed characters who are marked by an air of dark mystery. Whether describing a young couple too engrossed in intellectual pursuits to notice that their child is deaf, a mother who locks her naughty daughter in the bathroom and cannot retrieve her, or another who goes drinking and dancing with her husband's mistress, Kohler--as if playing games with the reader--withholds vital information that would allow her stories to make sense. Her characters hint at what they might have thought or noticed rather than offering facts; they play with clues whose significance is never yielded to the reader and covertly fathom critical secrets (never fully disclosed). Those who enjoy Kohler's lush descriptions and graceful prose will feel seduced--yet remain unfulfilled. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Compared with Kohler's first novel, A Perfect Place ( LJ 3/1/89), these perplexing, impersonal stories leave much to be desired. While the novel offered ephemeral sensory images and a hauntingly bizarre main character, the stories are peopled by empty, nameless failures and often paired incongruously. Kohler examines death, love, parenthood, and infidelity but skews her characters' emotions; entering and exiting relationships, they exhibit a curious lack of deep feeling. Again, there is psychological violence but no blood. Readers who find these stories incomprehensible will not be alone.-- Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, Md. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.