The plausible explanation she has been
craving, the one that lies outside herself,
has never seemed farther away.
Like Vonnegut, Lennon is able to defy genres; Familiar appeals to a variety of readers, from the sci-fi set to the literary fiction elite. Also like Vonnegut, there’s even a Kilgore-Troutian moment in which the universes of the writer, reader, and protagonist briefly and spectacularly collide.
I wonder if we'll ever find a way out of this world.
All this builds into a peremptory, urgent and exciting novel, a metaphysical thriller that has a very broad appeal, dealing with familial trauma, adultery, the trials of parenthood, the world of work, but also notions of identity, or self-worth, and the solipsistic notion we are the only real thing in the world, which brings us all back neatly to Dwayne Hoover and Kilgore Trout. They weren't wrong, those mystics at Electric Literature.
**This curtailed quotation is borrowed from the Guardian review of the same which can be read in full on their website.