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Publisher's Summary

“Enchanting...the most surprising, confounding, and oddly insightful couple’s trip in recent literary history.” (Entertainment Weekly)

The prize-winning, best-selling author of Gingerbread; Boy, Snow, Bird; and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours returns with a vivid and inventive new novel about a couple forever changed by an unusual train voyage.

When Otto and Xavier Shin declare their love, an aunt gifts them a trip on a sleeper train to mark their new commitment - and to get them out of her house. Setting off with their pet mongoose, Otto and Xavier arrive at their sleepy local train station, but quickly deduce that The Lucky Day is no ordinary locomotive. Their trip on this former tea-smuggling train has been curated beyond their wildest imaginations, complete with mysterious and welcoming touches, like ingredients for their favorite breakfast. They seem to be the only people on board, until Otto discovers a secretive woman who issues a surprising message. As further clues and questions pile up, and the trip upends everything they thought they knew, Otto and Xavier begin to see connections to their own pasts, connections that now bind them together.

A spellbinding tale from a star author, Peaces is about what it means to be seen by another person - whether it’s your lover or a stranger on a train - and what happens when things you thought were firmly in the past turn out to be right beside you.

©2021 Helen Oyeyemi (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

O Magazine’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2021”

Chatelaine’s “4 New Books to Add to Your Spring Reading List”

Lit Hub’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2021” 

“Oyeyemi is a master of leaps of thought and inference, of shifty velocity, and the story’s long setup has the discombobulating quality of walking through a moving vehicle while carrying a full-to-the-brim cup of very hot tea.... [In Peaces,] Oyeyemi achieves the impossible: She unstirs the soup, reconstituting the links that bind her eccentric cast of characters to one another.... Every piece of the puzzle falls into place, but the picture is never made whole. Perhaps this is Oyeyemi’s point: To be at peace with the vagaries of human connection, you have to learn to find the wholeness in every part.” (The New York Times)

“Oyeyemi has a singular boldness of style [and] is a writer of wit and courage.” (Guardian

“Oyeyemi's writing is gorgeous and resonant and fresh.” (New York Times Review of Books)

What listeners say about Peaces

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Classic Oyeyemi

By now we all know what to expect from an Oyeyemi novel: hallucinatory settings and characters, pervasive light surrealism, everyone is delightfully queer, an ending that's kinda unsatisfying. This checks all those boxes. It's a pretty good time if you like a weird book and are okay with an ending that doesn't answer all your questions. The narrative is more cohesive and less bizarre than Gingerbread's; the ending sucks less than Boy, Snow, Bird's. I think this might be her most emotionally resonant novel, and it might be where I suggest that Oyeyemi newbies start from now on. The audiobook mostly has one narrator and he's pretty good; there's a section near the end where letters from a bunch of characters are read by different narrators of varying quality.

5 people found this helpful

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interesting story, hard to follow as an audio book

This story is a lot of fun, but very difficult to follow on audio. the story jumps from here to there in time and in space in just a single line. If, like me, you multitask while listening to audio, you'll find yourself rewinding again and again. I will have to try this one again was a physical book.

1 person found this helpful

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No there there

Except for Otto, I didn’t care about a single one of the elaborate characters thrown at me. They seem excessively “made up”, eccentric just for the sake of being eccentric. The train goes nowhere in a twisty puzzling fashion as does the plot. I couldn’t follow it, especially the climactic final scene. It’s a wonderful goal to create a rich world full of inventive creatures, but the players in Peaces all seem like window dressing with nothing behind them.

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Eh?

This is a really strange and not in a good way book. I have no idea why I finished it. Cannot recommend