In a stunning, multi-layered story collection examining the marginal among us, George Washington Univ. teacher Ramola D (Invisible Season: Poems) offers ten vivid portraits of modern-day misfits. Tackling everything from class struggle to gender issues to interfamily favoritism, D skillfully reveals the story behind each of her protagonists against an often bleak present and glimpses of a fairy tale ending sadly (or ironically) out of reach. Throughout, she proves an insightful storyteller with a poetic knack for evoking the beautiful and the brutal: ""My grandfather Roderick is fastened by one lung to the world."" Though D's supple prose is the main attraction, she also manages to surprise with some of her (typically) melancholy endings.