I first became acquainted with Emma Cline’s work in her excellent debut novel, The Girls. This collection of short stories gave me the same off-kilter feeling of being dropped inside someone else’s head. These quiet glimpses into troubled souls are at times heart wrenching and at other times poignant. In What Can You Do With a General, Northeast Regional, and Son of Friedman, we meet parents and children who barely know each other. Mack The Knife and Menlo Park show us the world through the lens of disillusionment and hindsight. Although each of the ten stories contain different characters and situations, the common thread is how alienated the characters are from the people that supposedly love them. If you are a fan of deftly drawn vignettes and don’t require stories to be neatly tied up with a bow, you would enjoy this moving collection.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for a review copy of the book.