Ecco, New York, 2010
Borrowed from the library.
I do not often read short stories and am not sure how to review them. Last year I read Ron Rash’s novel, Serena, and loved it. When I saw this collection on the new book shelf at the library I had to pick it up and bring it home.
This collection ranges through time from the Civil War era to the present. Rash writes in pared down language, clear and crisp as a mountain stream. The stories are based in the landscape of Appalachia and filled with the people who are part of that landscape, so much a part that they often can not leave, even if they want to.
Poverty, drugs and violence run through many of these stories, but the characters show a strength that has to do with long history, love of family and love of place. Some are disturbing, some are lyrically beautiful. This is wonderful collection.