If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This

Robin Black, Author . Random $24 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6857-9

The stories in Black's solid debut collection are fraught with loss, usually of a loved one. Evocative and lyrical, the characters' introspections, while sometimes overwrought, are balanced by the sharp dialogue. In “The Guide,” a father takes his blind teenage daughter to meet her new seeing-eye dog and is forced to confront her independence. While painting a portrait of a man with Alzheimer's, the aging main character of “Immortalizing John Parker” grapples with the recent death of her lover. The title story is the tale of neighboring couples battling over a fence, told from the perspective of the wife with terminal cancer. In “Pine,” a woman must decide whether to move on from the memory of her dead husband to begin a love affair with her male best friend. Each story is carefully crafted, though Black is at her best when she resists the impulse toward tidiness. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-73642-0
Paperback - 308 pages - 978-0-330-51179-7
Paperback - 311 pages - 978-0-8129-8068-4
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-330-53732-2
Ebook - 169 pages - 978-0-679-60368-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-73643-7
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-921753-18-3
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-330-52035-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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