cover image The Bride of Ambrose and Other Stories

The Bride of Ambrose and Other Stories

Castle Freeman, Jr.. Soho Press, $14.95 (211pp) ISBN 978-0-939149-01-8

Ambrose, a backwater country town in Vermont, is the point of reference for these 11 stories. The title narrative begins in Mexico but moves back in time to Ambrose. More anecdote than story, the uneventful tale proceeds at a slow pace to recall the lives of ordinary people; its deceptively simple prose impels the reader to imagine hidden secrets. In ""That Is No Country for Old Men,'' a youth digs a hole in which to bury a dead horse while an old man sits by making quiet remarks. Youth and age, life and death are revealingly juxtaposed. Although some stories ring hollow and end inconclusively, others take on a deeper resonance. Daily plodding life in Ambrose is not glamorized, but the sum total of the tales is a picture of real life painted by a dark imagination. (April 13)