Improvement by Joan Silber

Into the Wild

Read Improvement Online Free - One of our most gifted writers of fiction returns with a bold and piercing novel about a young single mother living in Harlem, her eccentric aunt, and the decisions they make that have unexpected implications for the world around them.
Reyna knows her relationship with Boyd isn't perfect, yet she sees him through a three-month stint at Riker's Island, their bond growing tighter. Kiki, now settled in the East Village after a youth that took her to Turkey and other far off places--and loves--around the world, admires her niece's spirit but worries that motherhood to four-year old Oliver might complicate a difficult situation. Little does she know that Boyd is pulling Reyna into a smuggling scheme, across state lines, violating his probation. When Reyna takes a step back, her small act of resistance sets into motion a tapestry of events that affect the lives of loved ones and strangers around them.
A novel that examines conviction, connection, repayment, and the possibility of generosity in the face of loss, Improvement is as intricately woven together as Kiki's beloved Turkish rugs, as colorful as the tattoos decorating Reyna's body, with narrative twists and turns as surprising and unexpected as the lives all around us. The Boston Globe said -No other writer can make a few small decisions ripple across the globe, and across time, with more subtlety and power, - and Improvement is Silber's most shining achievement.

Title : Improvement
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 161902960X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 pages


Diane S ☔ rated it ★★★★☆

December 11, 2017

The butterfly effect ably displayed in literary form. We start with an aunt, KiKi, who has had a varied life, but is now living fairly close to her neice, Reyna. Reyna has a young son, but visits her boyfriend who is serving a short term at Rikers. When he gets out, he and his friends, hatch a mo...

Victoria rated it ★★★☆☆

February 21, 2018

This is my first novel by noted author Joan Silber and I was immediately consumed by her easy, natural writing style and the theme--that of the butterfly effect--is one that I am often drawn to in literature. In this novel, the effect of one person’s choice affects what happens to another which l...

Jill rated it ★★★★★

July 24, 2017

In chaos theory, it is said that if a butterfly flutters its wings, a typhoon can ultimately occur halfway around the world. Put another way, even the smallest step changes lives immeasurably. And so it is in this satisfying new novel by Joan Silber. Reyna is involved with a petty thief named Boyd...

Jonathan rated it ★★★☆☆

February 05, 2018

My first Joan Silber, an author unknown to me until the shortlisting of Improvement in this year’s (2018) National Book Critics Circle Award. I enjoyed the read, the prose is easy, and this set of linked stories are relatively uncomplicated and gently revealed. There are two clearly signposted them...

Roger rated it ★★★★★

January 02, 2018

It’s a Connected World Darisse was secretly becoming more religious, but in private; she had her own rituals. She sat on her bed with her eyes closed; she thought of the walls of the room turning into air. Air from a larger space. The point was to ask for strength. Improvement wasn’t coming any o...

switterbug (Betsey) rated it ★★★★★

November 07, 2017

IMPROVEMENT is a novel, mostly centered in New York, but also Berlin and Turkey, about people trying to improve their lives, despite the small or catastrophic tragedies that changed their position or outlook. The people in Silber’s cast are either related to each other by family; their circumstan...

Ellie rated it ★★★★☆

December 29, 2017

Interlocking stories form the backbone of this novel (Silber has used a similar technique before in her collection of stories, Fools: Stories). The book consists of stories told by several very different people: Reyna, a single mother living in Harlem who is in love with a petty thief, her aunt w...

Matthew rated it ★★★★☆

December 25, 2017

It’s early on Christmas morning as I write this, having just finished Joan Silber’s dynamo offering, Improvement. Fittingly I’m pondering how I too can improve: as a father, husband, family member, friend, writer, Goodreads enthusiast. I imagine I’ll be granted temporary reprieve the moment my da...

Jennifer rated it ★★★☆☆

January 17, 2018

I read this in a few hours but in the end I was like "huh?" I didn't get how the stories worked together or feel much. The voice keeps a distance. Yet the writing and voice are hypnotic.

Sonya rated it ★★★★☆

January 12, 2018

I've read several Joan Silber novels and I'm always pulled into the worlds she builds with a few deft passages about the interior lives of her characters. In this short novel (less than 200 pages) we meet and follow the lives of several characters who are connected by brief encounters and a fatef...

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