Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022

Transit: Book summary and reviews of Transit by Rachel Cusk

Transit

by Rachel Cusk

Transit by Rachel Cusk X
Transit by Rachel Cusk
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published Jan 2017
    272 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

The stunning second novel of a trilogy that began with Outline, one of The New York Times Book Review's ten best books of 2015.

In the wake of her family's collapse, a writer and her two young sons move to London. The process of this upheaval is the catalyst for a number of transitions - personal, moral, artistic, and practical - as she endeavors to construct a new reality for herself and her children. In the city, she is made to confront aspects of living that she has, until now, avoided, and to consider questions of vulnerability and power, death and renewal, in what becomes her struggle to reattach herself to, and believe in, life.

Filtered through the impersonal gaze of its keenly intelligent protagonist, Transit sees Rachel Cusk delve deeper into the themes first raised in her critically acclaimed novel Outline and offers up a penetrating and moving reflection on childhood and fate, the value of suffering, the moral problems of personal responsibility, and the mystery of change.

In this second book of a precise, short, yet epic cycle, Cusk describes the most elemental experiences, the liminal qualities of life. She captures with unsettling restraint and honesty the longing to both inhabit and flee one's life, and the wrenching ambivalence animating our desire to feel real.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred and Boxed Review. Outstanding ... As always, Cusk's ear for language and dialogue is sharp; her characters speak about universal ideas, such as anxiety and lust. This marvelous novel continues the author's vivid exploration of the human condition." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. With the sparest prose, Cusk has again created an expertly crafted portrait in this distinctive novel about the fear and hope that accompany change, and one woman's quest to conquer them. A masterful second installment to a promising trilogy." - Booklist

"The narrator's apparent emotional distance makes her a sounding board for the other characters, who open up and share their lives and struggles. In a way, Cusk is unmasking one way that writers take life and turn it into fiction, and this experiment with the form and definition of the novel make this a recommended purchase where creative writing and contemporary literature collections are strong." - Library Journal

"Brilliantly written and structured, which is nothing new from this superlatively gifted writer, but with a chastened empathy for human weakness that was absent from her last two novels. Its return is most welcome." - Kirkus

"Brave and uncompromising in its literary ambition, Transit is a work of cut-glass brilliance that quietly insists on the reader's thoughtful attention. One beautifully crafted sentence follows another." - The Financial Times (UK)

"Cusk is now working on a level that makes it very surprising that she has not yet won a major literary prize. Her technical originality is equaled by the compelling nature of her subject matter, and Transit is a very fine novel indeed." - The Observer (UK)

"Cusk is always an exciting writer: striking and challenging, with a distinctive cool prose voice, and behind that coolness something untamed and full of raw force, even rash ... Cusk has tuned in to our curiosity about the lives of others, and composed out of that curiosity something capacious and generous." - The Guardian (UK)

"Transit is an extraordinary piece of writing - stunningly bold, original, and humane." - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

This information about Transit was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Rachel Cusk Author Biography

Rachel Cusk is the author of the trilogy Outline, Transit and Kudos; the memoirs A Life's Work, The Last Supper, and Aftermath; and several other novels: Saving Agnes, winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award; The Temporary; The Country Life, which won a Somerset Maugham Award; The Lucky Ones; In the Fold; Arlington Park; The Bradshaw Variations; and Second Place. She was chosen as one of Granta's 2003 Best of Young British Novelists. She is a Guggenheim fellow and she lives in Paris.

Other books by Rachel Cusk at BookBrowse
  • Second Place jacket
  • Outline jacket

7 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more literary fiction...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Love in the Big City
    by Sang Young Park
    Set in Seoul, South Korea, Love in the Big City is a warm, playful, emotionally rich novel that ...
  • Book Jacket
    Bewilderment
    by Richard Powers
    In 2019, Richard Powers won the Pulitzer Prize for The Overstory, a sprawling novel whose characters...
  • Book Jacket: I'm the Girl
    I'm the Girl
    by Courtney Summers
    YA author Courtney Summers doesn't believe in shielding her teenage readers from the world's darkest...
  • Book Jacket: They're Going to Love You
    They're Going to Love You
    by Meg Howrey
    Teenage Carlisle lives with her mother in Ohio, but their relationship has never felt particularly ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Scatterlings
    by Resoketswe Martha Manenzhe

    The debut novel of a gifted storyteller who has become a sensation in her native South Africa.

Wordplay

The Big Holiday Wordplay

Enter Now

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Cradles of the Reich
by Jennifer Coburn
Three women, a nation seduced by a madman, and the Nazi breeding program to create a so-called master race.
Who Said...

Courage - a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.