Laura van den Berg’s second short story collection, published in 2013. I read the FSG Originals paperback edition from my library.
4 out of 5 stars (stories averaged).
Times Read: 1
One of the best short story collections I’ve ever read. Van den Berg never does the obvious thing. Whenever I thought I was ahead of the story, it turned back on me. None of these stories go where you think, none of them end where you think a short story should end. It’s exciting as a reader and it’s a great strength of van den Berg’s.
A feeling of truth fills each story – hidden deep, never discussed, but felt by many. The Third Hotel also had this effect on me. An author who can do it more than once is one to hold dear.
Van den Berg doesn’t supply answers to everything. People disappear in these tales and you won’t find out what happened to them. People die and you don’t know how, the whys are not spelled out. But she gives enough emotional information to make you care and understand. You will come to your own conclusions and every conclusion is correct.
While most of the female leads are in marriages – often troubled – the real connections here are between siblings. Brothers, sisters, twins; dead, alive, estranged.