Brenda K. Marshall
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Mavis Reviews

Set in North Dakota farmland in 1990, Marshall's generous debut is practically a primer on the effects of birth order in molding character and relationships....Marshall gives language to many characters, eschewing the single-voiced approach typical of debut novelists. Taking risks, she succeeds with ease. (from Publisher's Weekly, April 29, 1996)

This debut novel explores the intricate relationships, experiences, passions, and family dynamics that occur within a close-knit group of six sisters....Marshall effectively captures the stark beauty of the North Dakota plains and the intense, dramatic, and complex relationships between sisters, and as the dramatic events unfold, readers will enjoy her fresh, honest approach. (from Booklist, June 1, 1996)

It's hard not to compare Brenda K. Marshall's Mavis to the Pulitzer-winning novels of Jane Smiley (A Thousand Acres) and Carol Shields (Stone Diaries). This first novel by Marshall...does not suffer much by comparison. (from The Detroit Free Press,  June 19, 1996)

Martyrs can be tiresome to be around, and their self-sacrifice can be just another way of ruling the roost. Brenda K. Marshall shows us that kind of contradictory woman in her engaging first novel, Mavis....Marshall has a down-home sensibility enlivened by a wicked wit. (from The Chicago Tribune, July 28, 1996)

Each of these women is a bright and distinctive character, and their brisk, witty banter and ugly fights are alternately amusing and unsettling....Mavis pulls us deep into the heart of her family. (from The New York Times Book Review, Sep 15 1996)

Brenda K. Marshall's engrossing novel is a deep bow to her roots—North Dakota.
Mavis is Marshall's first book and it's riveting...a mirror for those of us who live in the Plains, especially in rural areas. (from The Fargo Forum, July 14, 1996)