Manmade Constellations | Critical Book Review

“Manmade Constellations” by Misha Lazzara embarks on a cross-country journey that unravels the intricate tapestry of love in its diverse forms and, perhaps, limitations. Lazzara, in this literary fiction and romance blend, weaves a tale that challenges conventional norms and dives into the complexities of relationships.


Lo Gunderson: A Misfit Dreamer

Lo Gunderson, the unconventional protagonist from a small Minnesota town, grapples with the clutches of normalcy. As a passionate freegan, she navigates life outside the conventional bounds, seeking an escape to a metropolis that aligns with her values. Lazzara skillfully paints Lo’s character, a mix of passionate idealism and middle-class privilege, fostering a compelling narrative that resonates with self-discovery and defiance.


Unlikely Bonds on the Road

A Craigslist ad for a free car propels Lo into the lives of Blanche, a dying woman with a favor to ask, and John, a charismatic mechanic. Together, they embark on a cross-country odyssey, unraveling layers of their personalities. The narrative expertly intertwines with Jason, a conflicted farmer in Idaho, exploring themes of love, parenthood, and the ghosts of upbringing.


Balancing Act: Narratives Collide

Navigating a split-perspective narrative is no easy feat, and here, the scales may tip towards Lo and John’s journey. Yet, the magnetic allure of Lo’s flawed yet resilient character adds a depth that captivates readers. Lazzara artfully steers the narrative ship, allowing Lo’s relationships and self-awareness to unfold in tandem with her complex romance with John.


Beyond Nuclear Ties: Exploring Community Bonds

While the novel’s core revolves around Lo and Jason’s intricate relationships, a surprise strength lies in the exploration of community bonds and collective care. Lazzara contends that love, in its truest form, extends beyond nuclear families, flourishing in non-traditional units, unexpected connections, and the embrace of neighbors and friends.


Verdict: Nuanced, Complex, and Poetic

“Manmade Constellations” offers readers a delightful blend of nuanced characters, intricate relationships, and poetic language. Lovers of romance, family drama, and unconventional female protagonists will find satisfaction in Lazzara’s exploration of love’s diverse landscape. This unconventional road trip serves as a canvas for self-discovery and an insightful reflection on the manifold facets of love.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Blackstone PublishingLiterary Fiction/Romance334 pages9798212174930

“Manmade Constellations” by Misha Lazzara embarks on a cross-country journey that unravels the intricate tapestry of love in its diverse forms and, perhaps, limitations. Lazzara, in this literary fiction and romance blend, weaves a tale that challenges conventional norms and dives into the complexities of relationships. Lo Gunderson: A Misfit Dreamer Lo Gunderson, the unconventional…