Slightly malformed, very brilliant, Crane Cavanaugh is born into the world of three former charlatan preachers, two siblings, and a dismal childhood. Eventually adopted by loud, loving Ollie, Crane becomes a budding scientist with a teacher as her mentor, but her abusive childhood left an imprint she has to confront.
"What a fantastic novel. Salvation is an absolute knock out. I read it without stopping (no, really!) and fell in love by the end of the day."
"In Salvation, Nevai presents a variety of characters in language precise and pristine, providing a marvelous juxtaposition to the imperfections and complexities of the lives so keenly observed. We cheer for this strange and endearing protagonist from the beginning of the book to the end."
"Lucia Nevai has written a tale with the savage wit and gothic plot twists of Katharine Dunn's Geek Love. Each page contains a shifting ratio of laughter and horror that will stop your heart for whole seconds; each sentence is a work of art. Nevai's young narrator, Crane, is a character I would follow anywhere."Karen Russell, author of St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
"Nevai's subtly barbed latest (following Seriously) portrays the secret agonies of an Iowa girl rescued from neglect by a loving foster family. Born in 1950 to a half-Indian prostitute living in a squatter's shack with a married evangelist and healer” and his wife, Crane Cavanaugh suffers the disfigurement of her mother's attempted abortion as well as the privations of being unwanted and poor. Along with her devoted older half-siblings, Jima and Little Duck, she manages to scrape by: a kindly developer, Sam Fanelli, who is transforming farmland into postwar suburbia, feeds the children from his lunchbox. Eventually seized by the state, separated from her siblings and farmed out to a childless Methodist couple, Crane's identity changes completelya change that is the crux of the book's meditation on chance, identity and circumstance. With skillful, wicked irony, Nevai poignantly evokes Crane's desperate childhood and fragile transformation, and creates a cast of sympathetic, memorable grotesques."
"This is 21st century fiction, perfectly rendered. Sometimes, it's so beautiful, it breaks your heart."
"From laugh-out-loud hilarious to searingly poignant, Nevai crafts a powerful story about family, growing up, loss and redemption. Crane never loses sight of her own uncertain place in the world, and this honest book brings to life one of the most fiercely intelligent, delightfully quirky and strangely beautiful protagonists in contemporary fiction. You will reach the last page craving more of Crane Cavanaugh." Laura Di Giovine, New Pages.com
"Nevai has an amazing way with words that translated exceedingly well to novel-length fiction. Salvation is proof of that. "Writers Unboxed
"Nevai skillfully balances the bizarre with the everyday. She has a way of bringing out the way life often lands somewhere in between. Crane is a unique character, with some elements of the grotesque, but Nevai manages to pull it off with believability and poignancy." Collected Miscellany