Jessica Keener’s writing sparkles in this gem of a book. The stories flowed seamlessly from one to the other, with some recurring characters; so there were no jarring moments of one story ending and another beginning. I have seen some criticism of this book, mostly relating to the fairly grim depiction of some of the women’s lives, choices, etc. For me, that was not a problem. In fact, it was the kind of book, at least for me, where you can live for a while in someone else’s shoes, and then, with great relief, take them off and move on in your own. The only real problem I had with this book was that I wanted more; and honestly, 162 pages was not nearly enough. The characters were alive, their stories expressed in vivid detail. Despite their different circumstances, their individual stories were sometimes similar, emphasizing our often common experiences.
The description of this book includes a brief summary of each story in the book, which I have not really seen before in a book of short stories. If you are the type of person who needs that much information before jumping in, you can find it in the publisher’s notes. If you are like me, you will skip all that and dive right in. You might shed a tear, or share some frustration, but in the end, you certainly will not be sorry you opened this book.