Thursday, December 8, 2016

To Begin Again: A Review

Note:  A slightly different version of this review appeared on Goodreads in December 2016.


"At the Window" -  A woman gets punched in the face by a random stranger.
"Like Smoke" -  A clerk at an airport store. 
"Soft Like Snow" -  A mother and daughter.
"Angelique" -  Two men and a female bartender.
"Rationing Sweets"  -  A father and daughter, and her boyfriend.
"Absurd Hunger"  -  A father and son.
"The Millers"  -  A mother and daughter, and the neighbors. 
"The Probability of Him"  -  Sisters and the new boy.
"Cheers"  -  A couple relocates to Texas.
"Negligence"  -  A kids' beauty pageant.
"Levity"  -  A woman dealing with memory loss.
"Always a Story"  -  A woman and her grandfather and mother.
"Composure"  -  An aunt and niece, and the neighbors.
"Asleep"  -  A mother and adult daughter, and two men.
"D20-XC8"  -  A flash fiction that seems to me like sci-fi.
"Untied"  -  A married couple and their daughter, and a mysterious woman.
"A Little Taste of Heaven"  -  A waitress and her boyfriend.
"A Poor Mentality"  -  Female roommates.
"Solitary Value"  -  A woman in a retirement home.
"Jim"  -  An affair.
"To the Curb"  -  A couple and a homeless man.
"Dandelion Ghosts"  -  Sisters and their father.
"Disengaged"  -  An old woman.

Twenty-three stories, no table of contents.  As in her 2015 collection, After the Gazebo, a lot of her stories are about familial relationships.  There's one sci-fi flash fiction, as there is in the other collection.  "Disengaged" is in both collections.

She's a high-floor writer, so she doesn't write bad stories.  But as I alluded to above, her subject matter includes family stuff, old age, and children.  All three of these are topics I usually avoid in my reading.    

"Like Smoke"
"Rationing Sweets"
"The Millers"

Without you, life is just a bunch of days going by, a bunch of things to do.
-  "Absurd Hunger"

Rating:  Low 4 / 5  


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