Grace Magorian ★★.5
ABUSE | FAMILY | SOCIAL MEDIA
Another sad older woman, bitter about love and the world, becomes delusional when someone shows the slightest interest. This feels like recycled material from several previous stories, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it.
Air Supply ★★.5
Really focused on the male gaze – the only real details in the story are about the men checking out these women. A lot of stuff is glazed over, making the story feel pointless. It’s hard to tell whether they’re terrible or excellent friends. Still, I think it’s clear Sara is a better friend than the narrator deserves considering how much time she spends competing with Sara, trying to figure out who is prettier or getting more attention. It might be an honest depiction of a specific type of friendship, but it’s a very strange one.
Maid Marian ★★★
INFIDELITY | ROMANCE
Unrequited love and poor decisions. I don’t have much to say about this one; it was a bit boring – a slightly nasty twist in the end, but nothing unexpected.
American Girl ★★.5
The same story, a slightly different spin. Shallow people, ambition outweighing truth, fame more important than humanity. It reads as limited or reductive at the very least – these characters are boiled down to their base instincts and have no complexity, leaving them (and the story) quite dull.
A Suburban Weekend ★★★.5
FRIENDSHIP | MENTAL ILLNESS
Strong finish. A complicated female friendship – with competition, awkwardness, and misplaced emotions – but a strong relationship nonetheless. Liv has everything except love, while Fern has lost everything but doesn’t care anymore. Disposable men, too many drinks, offhand comments, and imperfect characters.
Overall: ★★★ (rounded up)
This collection made me want to read Three Women again as a reminder that I do like Taddeo’s writing. I think it would be a good comparison – fiction vs non-fiction, each comprised of short stories in their own way. I’ll have to move it up my TBR before I’ve forgotten this pretty forgettable book.