Deeply satisfying. Finn is a remarkably confident and supple storyteller. [The Gloaming] deserves major attention.
–John Williams, New York Times
In this richly textured, intricately plotted novel, [Finn] assures us that heartbreak has the same shape everywhere. The Gloaming is chillingly cinematic in contrasting East Africa's exquisite landscape with the region's human needs. Yet even in a malevolent setting, Finn shows us acts of selflessness and redemption. Her fascination with the duality of Africa – "the most honest place on earth" – shines fiercely.
–Lisa Zeidner, New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice
A psychologically astute thriller that belongs on the shelf with the work of Patricia Highsmith. Alternating chapters between two continents, the book is brilliant on the pervasiveness of corruption and the murkiness of human motivation. Here is a page-turner that leaves its reader wiser.
–Karen R. Long, Newsday
Masterfully timed, frightening in its precision and delivery... a haunting story about consequence that spans literal continents. My skin prickled with every chapter. This is a story that explores coping with loss and consequence, its plot spliced with the implicit mystery of those emotions.
This ambitious novel addresses age-old questions through the story of one woman's abrupt alienation from her own life. It's an immersive, atmospheric read that is difficult to shake.
Suffice it to say that this is one of the most exhilarating, heartbreaking, and haunting novels that I have ever read–and I've read a great deal. Few other writers could rival Finn's exquisite prose... The plot leaves you guessing, wanting more, not quite finished with the story when you're forced to turn the last page.
–Tethered by Letters/F(r)Online
Brilliant... [The Gloaming] is a pure example of a literary page-turner, one that begins with an ending and ends with a new beginning, written by a very smart author.
Excellent. A wonderful book.
An intense and clever literary thriller.
A propulsive literary thriller. Finn, who writes with a psychological acuity that rivals Patricia Highsmith's, switches between Europe and Africa in tense alternating chapters, rewarding close attention. The book is terrific... subtle and thrilling. Remarkably well-paced and well-written... Don't expect to be able to set this book down or forget its haunted characters.
–Kirkus Reviews, *starred* review
[The Gloaming is] intense, raw, a story less about moving on with ones' life than learning how to live aware of life's messy, connective tissues. And of course, it's a testament to the striking writing of its author, Melanie Finn.
Finn's sure-footed prose, an intricate, clever plot, and the novel's powerful examination of cultural divides enrich this story, leading up to its shocking, brilliant conclusion as Pilgrim and the others search for salvation in an unforgiving land.
Intense, impressive... Told with force, and bracing directness... It's a book that smashes into you.
I rarely get as invested in the outcome of a novel as I did reading The Gloaming, but the empathies that Melanie Finn evokes in this powerful and unpredictable book are not casual; these traumas could be our own. These characters could be us. And so, the themes are familiar and unyielding: Pain. The past. That flyspeck point of convergence where they meet. The regrettable inevitability of everything that passes after that. And shame. Her prose is hypnotic and knife-precise and at times so beautiful it's unnerving. I didn't read this book so much as I experienced it and it will haunt me for a very, very long time.
–Jill Alexander Essbaum, New York Times-bestselling author of Hausfrau
A thought-provoking novel... deftly set in a world of mercenaries, philanthropists and witch doctors in polyester suits, the book asks how one atones for atrocity.
There's an eerie, existential quality about Melanie Finn's new novel... A paean to a magical continent of silent forests, slow, dark rivers, wild green mangroves; a world populated by child ghosts, haunted whites and AK-47-toting rebels. It is through this heart of darkness, a landscape rich in possibilities, that Pilgrim stumbles towards the light.
–New Zealand Herald
Full of empathy and intelligence... The ending is startlingly optimistic and very moving.
–Sydney Morning Herald