Very Nice

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

Excellent. I really enjoyed reading this book - Marcy Dermansky is a singular storyteller. Just like with Red Car - I'll share it with my patrons who are looking for something a little different, but that still goes down smooth. Thank you, I really loved this one.
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A slow paced book about the suburban drama of a family falling apart.  With reference to a school shooting, a love affair with a professor, and a family torn apart by an affair -- Very Nice tried to capture too many elements in one story.
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I would have to describe Very Nice as a "literary soap opera," which is normally something I would stay away from but I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would, which is a pleasant surprise. The narrator point-of-view alternates with each chapter but didn't get confusing at all, which sometimes can happen when narration changes between chapters. One fun aspect of the book is that each character is weirdly connected to everyone else in the book, but not so much in a cheesy, predictable way.
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This story was a light-hearted yet fun read that kept me thoroughly entertained throughout. The dynamics of relationships between friends, lovers, mother-daughter, and families was highly engaging. I loved seeing the relationships build and develop along with the plot line. The cultural aspects of the book were interesting as well and it is a story that many will be able to identify with. Highly recommend!
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If I had to label this book under one category, I would have to pick dark humor. Seamlessly written by Marcy Dermansky, the plot tells the story of a young and rather opportunistic creative writing professor, who begins to have a romantic relationship with both his student Rachel and her mother Becca, who's still reeling after Rachel's father leaves her for another woman.
What could have been an either campy or sketchy situation (if you consider this man is sleeping with both mother and daughter) turns out to be a humorous and accurate observation of relationships, whether they be romantic, familial or friendships. Nothing in Very Nice is...well...nice. Least of all the rogue writing professor, but throughout the story we find a bit of sense in his questionable antics, and the ending is the perfect roundup of emotional blowup for everyone involved.
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This reminds me of a reality show or what I imagine a reality show is like.   I don’t watch them.  About halfway through I realized that I didn’t like any of the characters which is usually a deal breaker for me.  But you get sucked into these crazy people and their lives and what the heck they are going to do!!!  So it’s a funny bit of silliness that ends up being a great read.
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What a wonderful read!  The bizarre interconnections of a small group of people and their emotional lives are explored in this delicious dramedy of manners.  I had the urge to create a chart detailing all the relationships.  

Ordinarily, one can point to a catalyst, but there are several catalytic agents at work propelling the plot.  Was it the relationship between Rachel and Zahid, her professor?  Was it the decamping of the pater familias to his mistress?  Was it Becca’s vulnerability after losing her husband and her dog?  

I won’t even begin to analyze all the relationships, coincidences and connections, but trust me, this is a great read. Denansky does a great job in allowing each character to have  a voice in this novel. I loved them all, maybe not Jonathan, who left his wife.  This technique allowed the reader to understand each of the characters, and feel sympathetic towards each one. 

I was absolutely mesmerized by this novel.   I loved the absurdity of their interrelationships and the quirkinesses of this totally original novel. 

Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to sink into this unlikely assemblage.  I am still reflecting on their relationships and trying to picture their futures.
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