In her thoroughly satisfying first collection, Sittenfeld (Eligible) spins magic out of the short story form. Bookended by tales concerning the election of Donald Trump, the collection comfortably situates itself in contemporary America, focusing on female protagonists navigating friendships, family, politics, and social media. In “A Regular Couple,” a semifamous defense attorney reconsiders her past after she runs into a high school frenemy also honeymooning at the same resort. In “The Prairie Wife,” a woman contemplates whether to make public a bombshell revelation that would ruin the image of a lifestyle celebrity she dated as a teen. Another celebrity story, “Off the Record,” places a small-time interviewer in the home of an up-and-coming starlet, with explicit instructions to leave her appointment with juicy details on the starlet’s recent breakup. And in “Volunteers Are Shining Stars,” perhaps the collection’s best entry, a young volunteer at a shelter for mothers and children in Washington, D.C., develops a hatred for a new, bubbly volunteer. As in her novels, Sittenfeld’s characters are funny and insightful. Reading these consistently engrossing stories is a pleasure. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, WME Entertainment. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/22/2018 Release date: 04/24/2018 Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 435 pages - 978-0-525-59035-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-525-52777-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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