Sunday, June 5, 2016

Goodnight, Beautiful Women

Goodnight, Beautiful Women by Anna Noyes
Grove/Atlantic: 6/7/16
eBook review copy; 224 pages
ISBN-13: 9780802124845

Goodnight, Beautiful Women by Anna Noyes is a debut collection of eleven short stories featuring girls and women living in Maine.

Most of the young women in this collection are doomed by circumstances or life or bad choices. The tone of these stories is dark and melancholy - you will feel that failure and depression is seemingly just around every corner and no redemption is in sight. The quality of the descriptions and emotions of the women and girls portrayed is well done and notable. Most of the stories end without a firm conclusion, denouement, or closure, which didn't work for me in every case. There was a point where the stories began to meld together into an overarching pattern of damaged women and confused girls struggling against the odds which are never in their favor.

Contents include:
Hibernation:A woman's husband drowns himself.
Treelaw: A young woman's story is told after her father's suicide.
Safe As Houses: A thirteen year old girl tries to process the fact that a girl was raped near her house.
Drawing Blood: A young woman in the early 1900's begins an affair with the girl her family took in as a maid.
The Quarry: Two sisters discuss whether or not they are white trash.
Glow Baby: A woman takes her daughter with her as she leaves her partner.
Goodnight, Beautiful Women: A teenager takes a road trip with her family during which her mother abandons her stepfather at one of their stops.
Werewolf: A young woman looks back at a lie she told as a child.
This Is Who She Was: A pregnant college student goes on vacation with her boyfriend's family.
Changeling: A woman on a bus trip thinks a woman might be the mother who abandoned her.
Homecoming: A woman feels hopeless when she moves back to her hometown with her husband. 


Disclosure: My digital advanced reading copy was courtesy of Grove/Atlantic for review purposes.

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