Acclaim for In the Lap of the Gods


** Top four finalist in the James Jones First Novel Fellowship **

** Semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards **


Honorable mention in the 2011 Green Book Festival


Booklist gives a starred review:

"The effects of modernization and the battle between man and nature are the heavy themes Lovett tackles in this powerful first novel set in modern-day China. A moving, compelling read about people fighting against both government and nature, which prove equally insurmountable and capricious."


Publishers Weekly says:

"Lovett's complex tale of displacement and hardship, contrasting modern China with its past, highlights the human spirit's capacity for renewal."
Publishers Weekly


Barnes & Noble Review says:

"A compelling, sometimes damning portrait of the [Three Gorges Dam] project. Details of Chinese life shine through… An affecting story of massive change, told in small moments.”


Society of Environmental Journalists says:

"In her lucid and sometimes damning narrative, Lovett explores the ways in which people try to adapt to the changing physical, political, and economic landscape."


The China Beat says:

"A lyrical novel...In the Lap of the Gods is filled with stories of unfulfilled desires, voluntary or involuntary abandonment, aborted hopes, ephemeral emotions, failed relationships, unending regrets, and nostalgic longings for a home that is no longer welcoming." »Read more


Asian Review of Books says:

“Coincidentally with the publication of this very cinematic first novel, the Three Gorges Dam reached full capacity. This astonishing engineering achievement has been accompanied by a massive relocation of people… The human and political consequences of this uprooting in the name of progress are at the heart of this novel.”


Stanford Magazine, in a headline review:

"Debut novelist Lovett focuses on the lives of the displaced as they strive against the elements...Most of the time readers' hearts are fastened on the widower Liu, 'a young man drowning in an old man's sorrows.'"


Asian American Literature Fans says:

"Lovett has a very keen eye for description and her characterizations are particularly acute...In the Lap of the Gods is another socially conscious and meticulously crated novel that explores China's unrelenting drive toward national modernization."


International Examiner says:

"In The Lap of the Gods gives form to the history of a place and a vivid set of characters within the context of this history. The novel comes with high praises."


Kirkus Reviews says:

"In her first novel, Lovett chronicles the human cost of building China's Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. A political opera...[with] indelible characters."


Midwest Book Review says:

"In the Lap of the Gods is a riveting read and solidly recommended for world literature collections.”


Readers & writers say:

"An important book, a moving farewell to the old - more humane - way of life..."
— Maxine Hong Kingston

"Very well written and skillfully told..."
— Amanda Richards, Amazon top 50 reviewer

"These are questions that so many of us are asking ourselves about an entire world in which the pace of change seems to keep us perpetually off-balance..."
— Sue Repko

"A voice that is both accessible and beautiful..."
— Gina Davis

"The gripping opening scene, with a helpless child abandoned to rising water, had a powerful effect on me, making me care about the outcome and yearn for a savior. Who better to fulfill that role than Liu, a scavenger who ekes out a living among the abandoned villages?"
— Greg Buford

"Richly written, this is the kind of story you can get lost in, and changes the way you view the world..."
— Kim Wyatt

"Li Miao Lovett weaves a complicated tapestry of elements: the river gods provide a broken man with the chance to rediscover his heart..."
— Robin Somers

"There is a certain tenderness in Liu; the fact that he doesn't want to wake the baby, that he's hesitating at the door of the baby broker..."
— Mary Beth McClure

"The spectacle of deserted villages far as the eye can see receding underneath the unleased, raging currents of the Yangtze is the world that Li Miao Lovett describes with rich detail and subtle poignancy..."
— Genny Lim

"Earthy, organic. Perhaps that sense is owing to the earnestness of the narrator's voice."
— Lizette Wanzer

"Lyrical, mesmerizing, haunting, beautifully written book..."
— Dawn Yun

In the Lap of the Gods gives us an insight into one of the most transformative events of our time.”
— Harriet Rohmer