RaveFull StopAs the title aptly suggests, there is no \'one size fits all\' narrative to accommodate the experience of motherhood, and Ross is wary of the pat or consensual ... Ross has a keen eye for images ... Ross’s aversion to neat, easy answers is complemented by a gift for dramatizing evidence to the contrary. This is the source of her subtlety. Many of the stories have open, Chekhovian endings. The comfort of resolution is not nearly as interesting as the surprise and mystery arising from observable ambiguity ... Consistently inventive and sometimes provocative, Shapeshifting is an accomplished collection of short stories ... Ross’s writing probes and tests assumptions that we often take for granted, and raises questions that will leave the reader musing, long after a story is finished.
MixedFull StopCentral to this novel is the problem of what goes unsaid. Seçkin convincingly dramatizes that this problem has no easy answer. It’s not a matter of simply resisting repression and coming out and saying, because often the truth isn’t reducible to articulable formulas about which everyone will agree ... As the anecdotes pile up, the novel suffers from a slackness of form. The reader is invited to turn many pages of the family album. Some readers will be more patient than others ... reticence becomes a narrative problem, as it is not only a question of Sibel withholding information from her family circle but also from the reader. It is possible to concoct an aesthetic justification for this storytelling gap: it could be read as a revealing lacuna of trauma. As mentioned, it is no simple matter to articulate the past. But for this reviewer, at least, a greater access to Sibel’s feelings about her father is a missed opportunity. Instead, the narration is diluted by anecdotes which ultimately distract from the novel’s emotional core. The novel is long but leaves a lingering impression of a story that is unfinished.