Mothers and Other Monsters

Maureen F. McHugh, Author . Small Beer $24 (232p) ISBN 978-1-931520-13-3

The 13 stories in McHugh's debut collection offer poignant and sometimes heartwrenching explorations of personal relationships and their transformative power. In "Presence," a woman helps her husband through an experimental therapy for his Alzheimer's disease and, by the story's end, is less his spouse than a nurturing mother to his developing personality. "Oversite" bridges three generations with its account of the different emotions a woman wrestles with as she anxiously tracks her wandering senile mother and her rebellious teenage daughter by means of biologically implanted homing devices. "Laika Comes Back Safe" represents so believably the feelings two school friends share about their lives in dysfunctional families that the revelation that one occasionally transforms into a werewolf seems entirely within the realm of possibility. Whether writing an alternate Civil War history in "The Lincoln Train" or a tale of extraterrestrial anthropology in "The Cost to Be Wise," McHugh (Nekropolis) relates her stories as slices of ordinary life whose simplicity masks an emotional intensity more often found in poetry. The universality of these tales should break them out to the wider audience they deserve. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (July)

Reviewed on: 06/13/2005
Release date: 06/01/2006
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FORMATS
Paperback - 271 pages - 978-1-931520-19-5
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-61873-005-3
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