Plunkett thrives on exploring the interioriority of these characters, and driving these stories is the examination of the self ... Plunkett hooks readers easily with carefully crafted first lines, drawing readers in with dead bodies, mysteries, and odd images. From there, the stories build momentum slowly, but precisely, spiraling out along tangential subplots. These sideline narratives accrete to form the fuller story, eventually coming together as the stories conclude, often abruptly. Plunkett piles many ingredients into a slow cooker and then lets them boil ... There are rarely major shifts in the lives of these characters. They evolve in subtle ways, slowly and sometimes almost imperceptibly, but the shift feels organic and natural ... a collection featuring a cerebral examination of womens’ lives. Plunkett is methodical, layering narrative on top of narrative, creating well-considered arguments. Even when the links between tangents are not immediately obvious, Plunkett pulls them together in subtle ways.
Plunkett’s nuanced debut story collection follows characters navigating and identifying the shifts and relationships in their lives, present and past ... With bracing honesty, Plunkett’s richly drawn narratives bring emotional depth to the characters’ struggles and internal conflcts.
Meditative short stories about the befuddling domestic lives of women and girls in northern New England ... The stories in this debut collection are full of horses. Certainly, horses are common in the landscapes of rural Vermont, where these tales are usually set, but they are absolutely everywhere here, alongside narrators whose demanding young children and difficult marriages make their daily lives gray and exhausting ... Plunkett’s strength is in the patience and precision of her interior and exterior landscapes. Like horses, too, these stories are full of beauty and elegance but also inscrutability, with Plunkett content to braid scenes and images together and let the mystery of their relationships abide. Wistful tales rendered with delicate writing and powerful perception.