Weekly Reader: Alice Fantastic by Maggie Estep


A few years ago Sarah Weinman thought she was going to have a career in science, possibly of the forensic variety. But then she launched the crime and mystery fiction blog Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind as a way of procrastinating on her master’s thesis, and it literally changed her life’s path. We can respect that. We also respect her opinions on books across all genres, so much so that we’ve asked Weinman to recommend a new one for you to check out each Wednesday. (It’s amazing that she finds the time. The woman read 462 books last year.) Learn more about her latest pick — a funny look at family life — after the jump, and leave us your review in the comments if you’ve already read it.


“Words cannot express my joy at a new novel by Maggie Estep, who writes wonderfully warped, weird, off-kilter characters like few authors can. Moving from Queens to an upstate New York town resembling Woodstock, from race tracks to dog parks, Estep looks at the ways in which half-sisters bond with each other, with their shared mother, with their separate and shared demons and with the menangerie of animals and humans they will develop emotional attachments of all hues to. I wouldn’t call ALICE FANTASTIC a heartwarming family drama — I suspect Estep would recoil at such a phrase — but a memorable, funny family kaleidescope ought to work.”

– Sarah Weinman