D’Erasmo moves to the top of her craft with The Sky Below,” said Town and Country, and many others have joined the chorus of critical acclaim for her newest novel, in part inspired by Ovid, which illuminates the myths that underlie our everyday lives.
At thirty-seven, Gabriel Collins works halfheartedly as an obituary writer at a fading newspaper in lower Manhattan, which, since 9/11, feels like a city of the dead. This once dreamy and appealing boy has turned from a rebellious adolescent to an adult who trades in petty crimes. His wealthy, older boyfriend is indulgent of himto a point. But after a brush with his own mortality, Gabriel must flee to Mexico in order to put himself back together. By the novel’s end, we know all of Gabriel’s ratty little secrets, but by dint of D’Erasmo’s spectacular writing, we exult in the story of an imperfect man whotested by a world that is often too much for himrises to meet the challenge.
All the same, it's hard not to be seduced by this willfully selfish man, D'Erasmo's most complex and accomplished character to date… Gabriel may not be a great person, but in his hunger for expression, for a father, for a home, he embodies the deep yearnings and sense of entrapment that can make anyone act badly…Vibrant and precise, his storytelling is memorable not so much for its individual phrases (though plenty are exquisite) as for its overall sense of immersion into a distinctive world.