The Collins family is followed through a series of stories in which they meet, bicker, compete, celebrate, worry, keep and reveal secrets, build lives and careers, and endure with different guests in each story.
One of the great pleasures of Company — and there are many — is how some stories double back to retell an event or re-establish a family member from a different vantage point, deepening our understanding of, and investment in, the Collinses ... This is a collection that builds intrigue through both what we see and what we don’t see. As we jump from story to story, between different times and different perspectives, it’s thrilling to re-encounter past characters in new circumstances and speculate about how we got here ... A deftly woven tapestry that scrupulously depicts familial ties and estrangement, richly told with a nuance that allows each character dignity and grace.
Sanders grapples with...relationship issues, to varying degrees of success, in her debut short-story collection ... Straightforward ... The book excels when the prose is subtle and lean ... However, there are times when the language can be wooden, or where the rapport between characters feels pedestrian ... wondered if Company would have been more potent as a lengthier opus, interwoven with the hyper-precise rhythms of each person or generation. Nevertheless, Company shows the frayed edges of friendship and family, and Sanders extracts comedy from the formidable situations that erupt in people’s lives — divorce, financial struggle, aging, death and childlessness. Whether chosen or biological, who we consider family can shape how we cope with drama.