“Spare, beautiful prose typifies the book. This is a novel riveted in the ordinary magic and ambiguities of everyday life. All of the characters in Onlyville are real people subtly fleshed out and the dialogue reads as smoothly as an overheard conversation. Onlyville is the perfect example of what a first novel can be...” (The Ottawa Citizen, April 1994)


“If this … first novel by Cynthia Holz illustrates anything, it’s that we have no beginning: We simply spiral, a haphazard aggregate of experience, memory, neuroses and genes, part ancestral, part individual, and all of it winding round in diabolical perpetuity like the stripe on a barbershop pole.” (The Globe and Mail, April 1994)


“A funny, moving story of a young American woman struggling for self-determination during the Watergate ‘70s. The wry, tough humor of Anna’s narrative and Holz’s watertight style come shining through. The feel-the-sand, hear-the-surf quality of Holz’s prose makes Onlyville great to read.” (Eye, March 1994)


Onlyville is a lovely novel about a woman’s search for authenticity and autonomy. In telling Anna’s tale, Holz moves back and forth through layers of time, revealing her family’s past, their mistakes and marriages over three decades. Holz’s writing brims with vivid images. [Her] characters vibrate with ambiguities, their actions posing questions that will have no answer. Ultimately, Onlyville is a compassionate story of a woman’s quest for understanding.” (The Toronto Star, April 1994)


Onlyville reads much like a collection of short stories, along the lines of Alice Munro. [It] is a wonderfully written, powerful piece of Canadian literature.” (The Kingston Whig-Standard, April 1994)


“Holz displays a remarkable sense of control in her writing; the prose is sparse and economical, yet deftly delivers images of surprising richness and clarity. Onlyville is a work of freshness and vitality, vibrant, yet with the soft, comforting warmth of the familiar.” (Id Magazine, October 1994)


Onlyville is a well-written, touching story that is bound to strike a chord.” (The Calgary Herald, September 1994)


“Funny and tragic, Onlyville is a fine piece of work. Holz’s first story collection, Home Again, was called ‘fresh’ and ‘subtle’: her first novel is that and more.” (Books in Canada, Summer 1994)


“Onlyville is written with a feminist sensibility, but it is never doctrinaire; it is often extremely moving—and extremely funny. [It] is that rare combination—a book that is both gorgeously written and compulsively readable, with characters you feel you come to know.” (John Metcalf, author, critic and editor, 1994)


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