Published: April 30, 2013
Genre: Short Stories
Source: TLC Book Tours
Sprung from the variously lush, rugged, and frozen emotional landscapes of the north country, this luminous collection of stories captures the progress of a diverse ensemble of souls as they struggle to uncover themselves and negotiate a meaningful communion, of any kind, with the world around them. A brilliant but troubled Bangladeshi physics student searches for balance, acceptance, and his own extraordinary destiny after his father disappears. When a Halloween blizzard immobilizes Minneapolis, a young woman is forced to confront the snow-bound nature of her own relationships and emotions. During an excursion to an idyllic swimming hole hidden in the Black Hills, two old friends unexpectedly compete for the affections of an irresistible, though married, Lakota woman. Like a mythical expedition to reach the horizon or the quest to distill truth from the beauty around us, the revelation confirmed by these imaginative stories - elegant, sometimes jarring, always wonderfully absurd - is that the very act of reaching is itself a form of touch.
This is one of those books that came into my life at just the right time. I had been reading a number of rather long and heavy novels and a collection of short stories was just what the doctor ordered to get me out of the early stages of a slump. I will also admit that I was drawn to this book for one reason: I have fond memories of my visits to the upper mid-West, which is the setting of most of these stories.
The unifying theme among these stories, at least for me, was the importance of connecting with others. The characters in these stories are experiencing some degree of solitude and move towards relationships with others. Since no story in this collection is tied to any other story, this unifying theme is especially important.
This is a very masculine book. I don't mean that as a criticism--in fact, it is a nice change of pace for me. And I'm not saying that it would not appeal to female readers (after all, I am a female reader), but masculinity is evident in each story and, in my opinion, is a necessary element.
When it comes to short story collections, I'm rarely on the fence. I either hate or enjoy the entire collection and this is one book that I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend to just about anyone.
I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I received no other compensation for this post.
Want to know what others think? Check out some of the other stops on the blog tour (links go to the blogs, not the specific review):
Monday, February 3rd: Lavish Bookshelf
Tuesday, February 4th: Books on the Table
Wednesday, February 5th: The Mookse and the Gripes
Thursday, February 6th: Booksie’s Blog
Friday, February 7th: Every Free Chance Book Reviews
Monday, February 10th: Chronicles of a Country Girl
Monday, February 17th: A Book Geek
Monday, February 24th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, February 25th: Great Imaginations
Wednesday, February 26th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Thursday, February 27th: Books and Things
Tuesday, March 4th: Priscilla and Her Books
Wednesday, March 5th: The Road to Here
Thursday, March 6th: Melody & Words