The short stories here feel entirely complete in themselves. The characters are realistic and relatable and their lives are lives that her readers could be living. Each of the main characters of these succinct tales seems straightforward and yet turns out to have more depth and layers than the reader expects at the start. And sometimes this surprising depth is unveiled in a mere sentence. Parrish is, without a doubt, a skilled writer who manages to keep her work accessible (truly no small feat). Her stories are emotional and searching. They center around a female protagonist finding her voice, her power, her truth. Many of the stories address a reality of women's lives (love, professional disregard, adultery, depression, health, friendship and obsession, family and caretaking, sexual abuse, and more) but even in this universality, they manage to surprise without shocking, twisting just perfectly to highlight her characters' own agency. None of the stories is particularly long and because of the clear and simple language, you can zip through the collection in no time at all but you'll want to stop and savor Parrish's ability to surprise, her subtle one-liners, and the strong, impressive women emerging from each story.
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Thanks to Lisa from TLC Book Tours and Unsolicited Press for sending me a copy of this book to review.