My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The quality of writing in this book was everything I had been told it would be and more. It’s been a long time since I’ve read short fiction as deftly and honestly written.
I have mixed feelings regarding the actual content; this is not an uplifting or empowering book, at least not in the more mainstream, “grrl power!” sense, but it gives us realized female protagonists with complex desires and backstories; women navigating seemingly impossible situations; women just trying to get by; women trying to reclaim their lives.
It was a heavier collection than I was anticipating, and bleaker than I had been told, but (as I said) brilliantly conceived and written.
As a side note, “Breaking All the Way Down” was an especially difficult story for me to get through, and necessitated several days rest before I could even finish the story. It was incredibly upsetting, which is by no means a criticism of the story – if anything, it’s a testament to the vividness and rawness of the writing – but simply a reader’s note.