What's so impressive about Doyle's writing is not only that she manages to express and engage with nebulous and difficult-to-articulate emotional ideas...but that in doing so she also manages to suffuse these apparently anti-plot stories with riveting readability
Kate Doyle's economical and beautiful prose is suffused with a wistful melancholy shot through with wry humor, and we feel her characters' longing as though it is our own. The details are exact, as are the insights; the stories feel utterly real. The result is intimate and propulsive. An exceptional debut.
With I Meant It Once, Kate Doyle proves to be an exciting, fresh, intelligent, unique, poetic and wild new talent. More, the stories feel like dispatches from the front of modernity. This is what it feels like to be here, and young, right now. This is a timely, inspired, great book.
A delicate balance of sharp and sweet, I Meant It Once explores longing, belonging and the big emotions that can make us feel small with unusual elegance and depth. Kate Doyle is both a gifted observer of human nature and an original and poetic prose stylist.
In this incredible collection, with inventive and beautiful language, Doyle captures the stories of young women who find themselves so close to transformation into a defined version of themselves, one that will lead to a future that will hold them, and she does so with honesty and verve.
Crystalline, funny, and richly alive, the stories in I Meant It Once thrilled me with their emotional acuity, their delicately nuanced portrayals of desire and intimacy, and their formal and syntactical dexterity and play.
I Meant it Once signals the arrival of a major talent and voice. These stories are by turns funny, melancholy, wry, and piercing in their insight. More than that, I arrived at the end of each of these stories feeling a little less lonely in a world that seemed a little less dark. Kate Doyle brings a rare confidence to stories about the lonely, the prickly, the aimless, and the out-of-sorts, all told in prose that is lively and beautiful. I loved these stories
The crystalline stories of I Meant It Once capture the complexities of our most intimate relationships-between partners, friends, family, and with one's self. Kate Doyle is a gifted storyteller, with a highly attuned sense for both language and vulnerability. This collection brims with the aches and longings, those wrenching pangs of emotional resonance, that one searches for in great fiction.
Kate Doyle's gorgeous, electric fiction upends expectations about how stories are told and what exactly needs telling. Lovers and rivals, siblings and friends navigate the funny, strange, sometimes explosive, sometimes transcendently beautiful terrain of love and ambition. These are wise, intimate, essential stories.
Gorgeously written and staggeringly honest, I Meant It Once is a reclamation of female friendship, intellect, rage, desire, and creativity - placing a timeless filter on contemporary questions. It will bewitch you
Kate Doyle's sentences are something to be savored, and the characters in these stories live and breathe and stand up fully from the page. Perceptive, funny, forthright, and often alarmingly relatable, I Meant It Once is a tremendously good debut.