Days of Awe

A.M. Homes. Viking, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-0-670-02549-7
Homes’s uneven collection of short fiction (following the novel May We Be Forgiven) searches for humor and wonder amidst the anxieties of contemporary America. In “Brother on Sunday,” a brother-in-law’s unwelcome visit shines light on the blemishes of a very surface-obsessed marriage. Totaling only five pages, “Whose Story Is It, and Why Is It Always on Her Mind?” follows a self-harmer who pushes thorns into the soles of her feet. Over the course of 50 pages, the exemplary title story details a long-coming tryst between two middle-aged writers, a war correspondent and a novelist. Two stories, the pleasantly listless “Hello Everybody” and the movingly tragic “She Got Away,” share characters and setting, though each trains its own unique lens onto the lives of young and old in Los Angeles. Strong as these selections may be, the collection suffers overall from the inclusion of the lackluster alongside the great, interesting experiments that never quite feel like finished products. Nowhere is this more evident than in “The National Cage Bird Show,” which attempts—and fails—to take on both military life and sexual assault by way of a chat room for parakeet owners. Still, Homes’s fans—as well as readers looking for sharp and funny short fiction—will find much to enjoy. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 06/05/2018
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-0-525-55893-4
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-14-313326-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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