JoJo Marshall
February 27, 2014 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Parallel Apartments

Current Status
In Season
Bill Cotter

We gave it an A-

The Parallel Apartments has a constellation of characters who are at once the truest and most unbelievable people you’ve ever met. Justine Moppet has fled New York for Austin, where she grew up. It’s a city that’s always ripe for misfits and oddballs, and in short order Justine encounters a prostitute with AIDS who’s seeking treatment from a shaman, a randy sexbot and his shopping-addicted madam, a crazed baby-stealer (or two), and an aspiring serial killer who faints at the sight of blood. Think of them as the novel’s minor planets. Standing at the center, like shining suns, are three generations of women, each shouldering the kind of regret that threatens to consume her. In telling their stories, Cotter manages to be surreal, gruesome, and snortingly funny. Do yourself a favor and give in to The Parallel Apartments‘ gravitational pull. A-

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