While technically Day by Michael Cunningham will fall into the category of COVID pandemic fiction, this one was beautifully and uniquely constructed—three days in three years, stretching from 2019 to 2021. The same day on the calendar, so each is a year apart.
In 2019, Isabel and Dan, a married couple live in a brownstone with Isabel’s brother, Robbie, living upstairs. Robbie is getting over his last boyfriend by living a fictional life online and dabbling in an all-to-real flirtation with Dan. Isabel and Dan’s children – Nathan and Violet – are somewhat aware that their world is slightly off-kilter. In 2020 as the world shuts down, Robbie escapes to Iceland and leaves Isabel to answer the questions of her marriage and her children alone. A year later, Isabel journeys to find her brother, hoping to find answers that will let all of them move forward.
While slim (fewer than 300 pages), Cunningham packs in a lot to be contemplated. The structure allows the pandemic to frame the story without weighing it down.
Verdict: Fully Recommend
I was provided an advanced reader copy of Day by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. To learn more, go to netgalley.com. Day by Michael Cunningham was published Nov. 14, 2023.
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