... not exactly satirical, but its best lines have the sting of topical social critique ... This type of canny writing affords a certain reading pleasure: recognition, even self-recognition, as well as some light, judgy fun ... These tensions need no resolution: We yearn for individuality even as we yearn to belong — generating anxiety, but also comedy.
Macy introduces characters unified by a sense of disorientation and outsider status in her second collection...In 'Residents Only,' a woman takes her two daughters to a vacation condo in Acapulco, trying not to draw the attention of the building’s other residents while keeping the housekeeper’s grandson entertained...Frances hopes that renting a house in Leicester will give her, her husband, and their young son community roots in 'One of Us'...Macy renders each character’s emotional complexities in thoughtful detail...With nuanced storytelling and memorable settings, she draws readers into the minds of people struggling to live as different versions of themselves.
While some stories concern girls striving to rise above their modest backgrounds, Macy mostly concentrates on women trying to find where they fit now that they’re among the elite...In 'Nude Hose' and 'The Taker,' strange men disrupt smart young women’s planned trajectories, but only briefly...In 'We Don’t Believe in That Crap,' two daughters knowingly watch less-than-appreciative reactions to their mother’s condescending, if well-intentioned, gestures of kindness to the less advantaged; yet the bourgeois discipline their parents have instilled in the girls proves valuable during an emergency...Macy’s lively, acute voice can edge toward cruelty but ultimately remains good-natured.
Macy returns with a discomfiting collection featuring characters who take risks and face disappointments...In 'Nude House,' timid Massachusetts teenager Susanna Gutteridge starts up a sexual relationship with a boy who subsequently becomes institutionalized and is assumed by the townspeople to have schizophrenia...In the title story, married American couple Tim and Alison travel to Italy, where Tim must leave halfway through. Alone, Alison drives drunkenly, does a terrible thing, and blames it on the owner of the house where she’s staying...Throughout, Macy impresses with strange internal monologues...Macy succeeds at dragging the reader, along with her characters, out of their comfort zone.