Family is Complicated

mothers tell your daughtersFor some the word mother is comfort. For some it is fear. For some it is heartbreak. For many of us it is all of those things at the same time and then some. In this searing collection of short stories, Bonnie Jo Campbell lets us into the lives of mothers, daughters, grandparents, sisters, husbands, kids and all the people who make up our modern families who are trying to survive as best they can. Taking an unflinching view at post-industrial America, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters is a collection of voices that will stay with you long after the story is over. Continue reading “Family is Complicated”

99 Puzzles to Solve

NinetyNineStoriesAboutGod Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Joy Williams returns with a lightning bolt collection of flash fiction. Each piece is numbered and named and explores the human connection and disconnection with God and the mysterious. This is devotional book for the intellectual, the searcher, and the brave.ninety-nine stories of God is fascinating, thought-provoking, amusing, and profound.

Whether God is in an animal’s fur we have carelessly stripped away or in a message from the universe for one who is grieving this book of stories and parables is in itself a meditation on belief and a journey into the mind of a writer and human who sees the world uniquely.

What I love most about William’s collection is that each story is something I am turning over and over in my mind like rocks in a tumbler, smoothing out the surface of the idea and yet wanting to continue to turn the crank to see what else I will find. As a new reader of Williams, I now want to read her previous works and the works that influenced her and the works she hates to understand her literary sensibilities.

Williams will be read forty years from now, as I am discovering her work forty years from when she started writing. The mark of a great. Continue reading “99 Puzzles to Solve”

But what if…

 

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Who should read this: fans of Choose Your Own Adventure, poets, nihilists, optimists, history nerds, musicians, and those searching for meaning in life

The story: A child dies shortly after birth, the same child lives to die in adulthood in a mass grave, the same woman, older, has to explain her life to survive, and so it goes on. Will she ever rest in peace? In a series of five books, the same character will die. Between each book is an intermezzo, a what-if, a turning of the die, chance intervenes, and the character lives on through European history spanning three wars, only one cold. With eloquence, the author creates five different lives, all lived by the same woman. Each voice is distinct, each life a new iteration of what was and what could be. The ultimate Choose Your Own Adventure for adults. Continue reading “But what if…”