A Heiny heroine is always sassy, funny, self-deprecating and unreliable. Bad things happen to her, but she would burst out laughing were you to call her a victim because she has done worse things herself. Within a couple of paragraphs you know her intimately, but she is also a little unknowable because she doesn’t entirely know herself, which is what makes every Heiny plot an adventure ... Heiny is habitually congratulated for writing feelgood stories, but if these pointed, satirical, emotionally ruthless takes on humanity merely made me feel good, I wouldn’t value them half as much.
Her stories are paeans to the almighty joke, both what it accomplishes and what it precludes, often at the expense of anything substantial ... Up to the moment it would be unforgivable, her characters crack wise from the same arsenal, their charm depending heavily on your sense of humor. (I’ll admit, it’s not mine) ... Having a laugh is one of life’s great pleasures, but sometimes you crave more. Heiny’s stories hint at something truly ripe for comic fiction: Her characters have a nagging fear of getting old.
Heiny approaches her disarmingly charming characters with tenderness, empathy, and humor, even (perhaps, especially) when they meander outside the bounds of good behavior. Lighthearted and amusing yet deeply resonant, these stories offer sly insights about human connection and can, in the space of a single sentence, take your breath away.