“Makkai’s second novel defies genre – part literary mystery, part comedy of manners, part wickedly funny satire. Whichever way you look at it, it’s remarkable.”
“At times both hilarious and heartbreaking, Makkai creates eccentric characters the reader can’t give up on, even at their very lowest, least likeable points. Makkai’s witty and engrossing writing style belies the nearly Dickensian way she layers characters over time, revealing hidden identities and unknown connections. It is also a very frank story of the lives of working artists and writers: the trade-offs, the losses, the liberation and the need for both community and isolation.
From the opening line to the last, The Hundred-Year House is utterly absorbing. Deceptively light and fast-paced, the story will stay with the reader long after the satisfying conclusion.”
“It’s a wonderful novel, as beautifully written as it is painstakingly plotted, with the structure to please any literary critic, and a story absorbing enough to satisfy the most ravenous reader… Rare indeed is the novel that combines beautiful prose with ideas as robust as those on display in The Hundred-Year House — not to mention a story like a set of Penrose stairs, connected in the most playful, the most surprising of ways.” Full review here.
“Both clever and heartfelt, this is a book with something for pretty much everyone. Makkai has furnished it like a sturdy yet finely detailed old house, with comfortable nooks, doors with keyholes, mirrors in every hallway, and, oh yes, that restless ghost in the attic.” Read the full review here.
“Here, we find a writer with an innately intelligent and assured comedic voice, someone who obviously has a deep literary pedigree but appears more interested in having fun on the page and puzzling out the complexities of a tightly woven plot. The pleasures of Makkai’s novel are contagious, all of which makes The Hundred-Year House an ideal novel for this hot summer.” Read the full review here.
“The Hundred Year House is a big-hearted gothic novel, an intergenerational mystery, a story of heartbreak and a romance, all crammed into one grand Midwestern estate… In this literary but unpretentious book, Makkai has created a juicy and moving story of art and love and the luck it takes for either to last.” Read the full review here.
“Running through all the sections are themes of identity and history, love and its follies, the lives of artists and the up-and-down flow of the work. What starts and ends as a ghost story is, at its heart, a tale of trials and failures and of reinvention — both of the self and the worlds we create around us.” Read the full review here.
Oprah (okay, not actually Oprah, but a lovely person named Elisabeth Witchel) writes, “Makkai’s humorous, expertly orchestrated storytelling will surprise you. Just when you think you know what’s what and who’s who at Laurelfield, hidden identities are revealed and history must be recalibrated. Perfect for a rainy day on the sun porch—with an old-fashioned glass of lemonade and a musty summerhouse throw around your shoulders.” See the rest of the write-up and the entire list of Oprah’s summer reads here.