|Author at home with donkey|
|Bonnie & Pamela 2012|
The title story of the book is a show-stopper, although it begins and builds quietly, proceeding in short sections as the main character -- bedridden, dying of cancer, intubated, and no longer able to speak – wills her daughter to read her mind. More than one story involves rape, as seen from an often confused perspective, as, for example, in "Playhouse," where the central character tries to remember and then to name what happened to her one night at a party where she had too much to drink.
The lives of these characters do not lend themselves to sentimental and contrived "happy endings," but they have not given up hope. In the book's closing story, "The Fruit of the Pawpaw Tree," it seems that Susanna may be finding a better future than she'd anticipated. They don't have it easy, these women, but they aren't looking for pity. Just a few sweet tastes to make the rest worthwhile.