Purchased / Reading With: The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermott, Summer Reading edition of Tin House
Type of Book: Loosely linked short stories / story cycle
My Research Interest: For entertainment
Structure: 15 stores of varying length, set around Lookout Mountain on the border of Georgia and Tennessee
Impression: I knew these stories would be “good” and “competent” short stories, because I trusted the recommendations. However, I was not prepared for the aching psychological depth of these stories. Quatro’s characters and narratives are not superficial, and anything but slight. This impression was solidified when the fourth story, “Here,” made me cry. I do not cry often when reading, yet this book made me tear up at least three times. Quatro demands the reader consider the mysteries, pains, and joys of parenting, marriage, illness, death, fear, and faith. The stories are intimate, visceral, and very much for today—but also timeless. The book is dark and light at once, challenging the reader to reconcile the two.
Readability: Everyone should read this book. This is one of those books that, if read with an open heart, will make the reader a better person.