From Kentucky to the California desert, these forty-two short stories -- ranging from the 80's and 90's to present day -- expose expose the hearts of girls and women in moments of obsessive desire and fantasy, wildness and bad behavior, brokenness and fearlessness, and more.
Though the 42 stories here often masquerade as slices of domestic life, the scale of the emotional trajectories is treated with the weight of the epic. They are sexy and sly. The dialogue winks and sparks on the page, making every story feel like a flirt. The collection overloads the senses ... Cross-Smith’s descriptions are filled with equal amounts of violence and tenderness ... The author’s experimentation with form doesn’t prove as rewarding as the way she plays with conventions of linked narratives. Throughout, characters from earlier stories reappear to nudge us in the ribs, these rewarding inside jokes building depth and resonance ... It is the strength of the female characters, though, that truly binds this collection together. Women appear to sacrifice for others, but at the root of those acts of generosity lies an unabashed commitment to making their lives exactly as they want them to be.
... rich ... The delightfully idiosyncratic prose distinguishes each of the narrator’s points of view within common themes of love, friendship, sex, and loyalty. These stories showcase the wide range of Cross-Smith’s talent.