Sing Her Down
April 7, 2023
Book Review

Sing Her Down

reviewed by Fiona Cook

Beautiful, affecting, and completely impossible to put down – Ivy Pochoda’s latest novel, Sing Her Down, will cement her reputation as one of the most reliably excellent authors working today.

It starts with Kace, resident of a women’s prison in Arizona, as she introduces you to the women the novel will follow – fellow prisoners Florida and Dios, all three facing the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak. Only two will find themselves unexpectedly released – but Dios and Florida have a history, a tension between them that will follow them as they explore their newfound freedom. It’s that connection that forms the heart of Sing Her Down, punctuated along the way with Kace’s conversations with the dead.

This is one of those books that’s all about the journey – you’re told the destination right from the start, but it didn’t lessen the impact of that ending for me in the slightest. As much as it affected me though, I wasn’t in a hurry to reach it; I was enjoying the process of reaching it far too much. Ivy Pochoda balances viewpoints effortlessly, and has again created characters that are realistically flawed and yet easy to root for. Even those who remain unlikeable are compelling – people you want to hear about, even as you get the feeling that you’re watching the human equivalent of a car crash in slow motion.

This was fantastic, and it deserves to be recognized as one of the standout books of 2023. Ivy Pochoda can continue to write just about anything, and I’ll continue to wait eagerly to read whatever she gives us next.

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