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Beverly Gologorsky. Seven Stories, $16.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-60980-504-3
Gologorsky’s second novel, like her first, examines the lives of working class families impacted by war—this time by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The tie that binds is Murray’s Diner, where Ava, Mila, Nick, Rosalyn, and Bruce work their shifts, living from paycheck to paycheck (though Rosalyn’s secret side life as an escort puts her financially ahead of her colleagues). The author treats each singular story line with insight, compassion, and no sentimentality. Ava lost her husband to the Iraq War and has a son who never knew his father. Her vulnerability is epitomized by a romantic encounter in the diner that goes horribly awry. Mila’s daughter, Darla, sees military enlistment as the only way to a better life, while ignoring the potentially devastating consequences. Nick, a war vet, hates working for Murray and is devastated when his daughter, Glory, joins up with an antiwar collective in the Middle East. And, for contrast, there is Murray’s new wife, Sylvie, who seems to have it all—but the author ably shows that appearances often mask a complicated and troubled interior. Gologorsky’s first novel, The Things We Do to Make It Home, won accolades for its luminous prose and remarkable insight into human nature. Her second outing continues those first impressions. Agent: Melanie Jackson, Melanie Jackson Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 11/19/2013
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