On Beauty by Zadie Smith
As in Gerard Woodward's novel A Curious Earth, Rembrandt's muse Hendrickje Stoffels assumes symbolic meaning for a man of advancing years. There's more company in Smith's book, however. This is a family, not a survivor of a family. Smith never strains to connect all the events and characters. Male lust is mocked,and when fantasy is made flesh, unenjoyable. Undergraduate Zora, like Claire in Six Feet Under, deserves a platform of her own.