“Rohan’s writing is always skillful; it is never boring and is frequently even brilliant, making the reader wish it went on for more than just 112 pages.”

— Elaine Merrill, San Francisco Examiner. Read Full Review Here

“Each vignette in Cut Through the Bone reads like a finely-wrought piece of filigree yet carries the emotional weight of a work etched in stone.”

Marc Schuster, Small Press Reviews. Read Full Review Here

“It’s hard to convey the strength and originality in this writing, and perhaps the only word that might sum up the way I felt after reading some of these stories is wow.”
— Annie Clarkson, The Short Review. Read Full Review Here.

“Ethel Rohan has a gift for boiling down her prose to only the essential details, compressing her settings, emotions, and stories into a narrative that while only pages long, hints at so much more, the tip of the literary iceberg buried under the surface, threatening to cause more damage—unseen but still there, lurking, expanding while it ripples the surface, threatening to pull you under.”
Richard Thomas, The Nervous Breakdown. Read Full Review Here

Cut Through the Bone contains thirty such vignettes, small shards of lives which “never fit right in the world,” as a character says of himself in “The Bridge They Said Couldn’t Be Built.” They are lives relayed with reportorial precision and clarity, all the more affecting for their brevity.”
Jesse Hicks, Barrelhouse. Read Full Review Here

“Rohan writes about loss, about being trapped, about desperation, delusion. And she does so with a hand so steady you might think she’s a doctor slicing open a patient with a scalpel. And you’d be right, at least in part, because that’s precisely what she’s doing. Only you’re not simply observing. You’re the patient.”
Mel Bosworth, Outside Writers Collective. Read Full Review Here

“Ethel has a style that is all her own, perhaps owed in part to her dual American and Irish lives and influences. Her voice has a lovely musicality, with lines dancing out of the stories and begging to be read. Yet she can also tell a story, with tight urgency, expert pacing, and a deft hand at dialogue that rings so true I barely even noticed it was dialogue. She can weave fantastic bits into a story so that you almost don’t notice them–until you’re meant to.”
Amber Sparks, Vouched Books. Read Full Review Here

“On the surface, the thirty brief stories in Ethel Rohan’s debut collection are about losing things—a leg, an ability to turn down a glass of wine, a mother’s ghost, and a father’s mind. Yet, it’s not the holes in the characters’ lives that break your heart, but the little gestures they make in an attempt to fill themselves up again.”
Chris Lee, Hot Metal Bridge. Read Full Review Here

“The best three words I can concoct to sum up Ethel Rohan’s Cut Through the Bone are: subtle, powerful, and precise.”
Ryan Rivas, Pilot Books, Seattle. Read Full Review Here

“Ethel Rohan’s first collection of stories, Cut Through the Bone, is pregnant with characters haunted either by loss or the absence of something they never had. They compensate for these absences in strange ways, essentially becoming different people—their surrogate selves are prosthetics for phantom limbs. We meet Rohan’s characters in medias res, trapped in excruciating cycles of yearning, addiction and complicity—of quiet catastrophe.”
— Eric Beeny, Dead End on Progressive Ave. Read Full Review Here

“Like a knife turned on its side, shaving away tissue-thin portions of skin one after another until seeing red, the thirty tales in Ethel Rohan’s debut short story collection Cut Through the Bone are self-contained, sometimes lyrical, often brutal slices of flash fiction, each ending with such a sharp intake of air one might feel lightheaded after reading too many at once.”
Andrew Wilmot, Backlisted. Read Full Review Here

“Rohan has an especially deft touch with the momentum of grief: if flash fiction is the snap of a camera in the dark, then she is a master of the well-timed exposure; a mounting, dead-end sadness and the slow, sure build of an accident about to happen are well-captured in spite of the stories’ brevity.”
Alma Vescovi, Litseen. Read Full Review Here