The 10 stories in this first collection exhibit a wide range of voices while focusing sharply on that space in human lives where the sacred and the mundane intermingle. Sexson, who teaches religious studies at Montana State University, writes of disaffected individuals whose reality is more firmly grounded than that of the conventional people from whom they feel separate. The intriguingly titled ``Starlings, Mute Swans, an Impossible Angel, Evening Grosbeaks, an Ostrich, Some Ducks, and a Sparrow'' is told by a woman who believes her brother is about to marry the angel the two of them once saw as children; observations on love, jealousy and betrayal intersect in dazzling ways. In ``Foxglove'' a young woman cares for her husband's dying grandfather, a man who had been her savior when she was a child and who had raped her during her teens. ``Hope Chest'' is about a retarded woman of unspecified age who awaits the marriage her mother always spoke of as though it were something that would happen to her the way puberty did. The title story, about a woman whose body grows pearls, is a masterpiece of suggestion and subtlety. In Sexson's earthy, meticulous tales anything is possible and everything significant. (August)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988 Release date: 08/01/1988 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.