Stubborn Bones

Karen E. Smythe, Author Raincoast Books, Polestar $14.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-55192-364-2
Canada is the backdrop for Karen Smythe's Stubborn Bones, a collection concerned primarily with love, loss and family. Many of her characters are, as one of them puts it, ""a little bit, you know off."" In the title story, a woman tells her estranged husband about her friend Marta's love affair with Marta's recently deceased father's close friend; the longer ""Strange Relations"" examines the interactions of a family across three generations mostly the secrets and betrayals, the disappointments and resentments. Smythe's apparent need to infuse the stories (especially the shorter ones) with Meaning can be tiresome, but her combination of elegance and empathy usually succeeds.
Reviewed on: 06/01/2002
Release date: 06/01/2002
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!