Monday, June 10, 2013

Book Review: Shout Her Lovely Name by Natalie Serber

I read my copy of this book courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia

My reading year so far has been chock full of short stories.  The fact that the unifying theme of Serber's book is mothers and daughters just made it that much more appealing.  Several standalone stories explore issues such as a daughter's anorexia and a young mother's position as the wife of her much older professor.  The real highlight, however, is a suite of stories following the lives of two characters - Ruby, who has a troubled relationship with her own mother, and Ruby's daughter, Nora, who comes of age in the turbulent 1970's.

I really appreciated the quality of Serber's writing.  The title story, and the first in the collection, caught my attention as being especially vivid and poetic for prose form.  Her word choice in that story is exceptional.  I also enjoyed the suite of stories focusing on Ruby, but I felt like those stories would have been better served in novel format, or even as connected short stories in their own book.  Having just a few non-connected short stories seemed strange and somewhat jarring, as most of the stories revolved around Ruby and Nora.

Entertainment Value
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reading these stories.  Ruby and Nora have a fascinating story line, and the other stories in the book were also compelling.  If you're a fan of the short story, I think this will appeal, but I also think the connected stories make it good reading for those who aren't familiar with short stories or who are just getting started in the genre.

I'll definitely read Serber's future writing.  She certainly has the potential to be a great novelist and short story author.  I look forward to seeing what she writes in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I don't read very many short stories, but your reviews make me want to start!