David Winters wrote a sound, glowing review for this book in the LARB. While it had been on my radar, his review is what made me take the plunge.While the story here is fairly commonplace, about the trappings and miscommunications in interpersonal relationships, Schutt's prose is magisterial: it truly is the primary focus in Prosperous Friends. There is a temptation perhaps to call Schutt's prose poetic, but this is a phrase so often used when discussing novelists' prose that it's hardly fitting here. By "poetic" I don't mean lush or flowery; I don't mean an attempt to suggest dreams or fantasies (although there is some of that here, too). What I mean by Schutt's poetic prose is that it's very technical and formal, yet at the same time loose and fluid—fluid, at least, in adherence to its own rhythms. Assonance, dissonance, syntactical ruptures: all of these formal and technical elements abound in this novel, causing us to be both within and without the characters: as Winters says in his review, "Schutt has mastered an intricate indirectness." There is a Jamesian distancing here, and I think this might well frustrate some readers who may have picked up Prosperous Friends based on the plot summary; however, the prose is something to be marveled at, relished, and also puzzled over at times. I definitely look forward to reading more of Schutt's work after this wonderful performance—for there's no other word to describe the skill evident here, a truly wonderful performance.