Carol Shields, The Guardian (England): "Joan Barfoot's Getting Over Edgar was wise and funny, with a bold double structure that she brings off perfectly."
The Times: "This is a delightful novel - wise, tender, and perhaps the funniest ever written about the difference between the male and female response to the mid-life crisis. Like Carol Shields and Margaret Atwood, Joan Barfoot is Canadian; and like them she explores the richness possible in an ordinary life. Such optimism is a rare thing in literary fiction, which typically confuses the solemn with the serious. Perhaps it comes with the territory, but it's clear at any rate that Canadian literature, having long been what Robertson Davies called 'the voice from the attic', is not that of the madwoman, but the sane."
Sunday (London) Times: "Barfoot writes with an affectionate optimism always tempered by perceptiveness and clear-sighted wit."
The Scotsman: "Barfoot loves to show that there is no such thing as casual dealings with anybody. Human touch is never 'simple'. Tentative moves, as much between strangers as between those we think we know and love, are often all we have. She is interested in how lives cross the chasm between what they are and what they could be, and in the vulnerability in the crossing. In the end - and this is its achievement - a low-key novel which starts on ingrained deprecation and bitterness, pivots, calmly, on optimism, and becomes hooked on the positive. Barfoot's voice for Gwen is all bitter questioning at first, but opens into something more wide-eyed. She finds in the end, and with customary Barfoot generosity, that new life is always there for the finding."
National Post: "When the dishes pile up for a couple of days, and the phone messages go unanswered, it's a sure sign that either Seasonal Affective Disorder has struck or I've had the good fortune to latch onto a rattling fine read. In the case of Getting Over Edgar, the latter was true."
Montreal Gazette: "Wry, powerful and observant as ever, Joan Barfoot opens Getting Over Edgar...with a punch worthy of the best of Fay Weldon...Only the most astute and forthright of writers - and Barfoot is that - would dare to send a grieving widow into the arms of a 23-year-old virgin bartender; one who is, no less, a liar and on probation for committing a series of grubby crimes. Only a writer who can illustrate madness - and how we are all mad and sane at the same time - could carry off what must be one of the sweetest and silliest of love scenes in literature...Getting Over Edgar takes the reader on a journey of mourning and healing that shimmers wondrously with darkness and light, despair and hope, cowardice and daring. Barfoot's prose and story are unsentimental, as in her earlier novels, yet she manages to explore the most sentimental of experiences: death, abandonment, sexual intimacy, childishness and childlessness, rage and loneliness. Always Barfoot's wit and wily eye save her stories from becoming sentimental journeys. And here, as always, her marvelously wacky protagonists reach acceptance, the goal of so many in their own journeys. Barfoot is certainly one of our finest storytellers."
London Free Press: "A fictional feast that takes a serious, yet wryly humorous, look at life's increasing confusion in the crowded last years of the 20th century. Laced, as always, with Barfoot's sardonic wit and the sharp powers of observation that make her novels so diverting, Getting Over Edgar threads the minefields of modern life with uncanny precision and with an eye for the folly that lies inherent in most human relationships...In many ways, Barfoot's work is reminiscent of that of such keen recorders of human confusion as Greg Hollingshead, Elisabeth Harvor and Margaret Atwood, and of American writer Ann Beattie. With these writers, as with Barfoot, contemporary life is finely and accurately observed, caught in the discomfiture of its own uncertainties...In Getting Over Edgar (another inspired title), Barfoot again instructs as she entertains and addresses, with originality, the risks and reprieves, the old blunders and new beginnings that tend to define most lives."
Quill & Quire: "David, the troubled young bartender, stands out as a masterly creation - quirky, endearing, and totally original. Barfoot's sympathetic treatment of him and of a cluster of minor characters is reminiscent of Anne Tyler. Like Tyler, she affirms the worth of ordinary people and validates the lives of those often dismissed as losers."
Halifax Daily News: "Barfoot's style is spare and her view unsentimental, but her uncluttered sentences accumulate in some powerful characterization. Highly recommended."
St. John's Sunday Telegram: "Getting Over Edgar has mature themes, an engrossing story and characters you will admire."
Ottawa Citizen: "I like this book's gleeful sense of retribution, the true subversiveness of a self-confessed middle-aged frump who dares to have an attitude."
Vancouver Sun: "This novel proves not just a journey of the mind, where memories good and bad are aired, but truly a voyage of the heart that tests our human capacity to love."