PositiveBookforumA moment of shattered composure—a sort of negative epiphany—is a mainstay of Hale’s stories, and often serves to satirize the class into which she was born ... Hale dramatizes the struggle between what’s primal and what’s refined—and speaks at once of propriety and of the impulses that propriety seeks to undo ... Nothing in Hale’s Selected Stories rivals the zeitgeisty smack of a novel like The Group ... But, like McCarthy, Hale anatomized a species of midcentury woman who was at once whip-smart and periodically superficial ... The best stories in Where the Light Falls live up to Hale’s own conception of how short fiction should work. When it’s \'really good,” she wrote, a story “is like a glass that, struck, gives out a clear ringing that you can hear awakened in still other glasses\' and \'that keeps sending that rung note farther and deeper and fainter down into consciousness.\'