Wednesday, April 28, 2021

In the Event of Contact

In the Event of Contact by Ethel Rohan
5/18/21; 192 pages
Dzanc Books

In the Event of Contact by Ethel Rohan is a very highly recommended collection of fourteen short stories. All of the stories focus on Irish characters who are lonely, vulnerable, different, and feel isolated and disassociated from other people. The writing captures the insecurity and alienation of the characters and their struggles with an ordinary life, in all of its complications and uncertainties. Rohan's stories also explore interpersonal and familiar relationships that can be fraught with emotions and repressed sentiments. The tone is quiet and somber in these short stories. The writing is exceptional and beautifully captures the story of these lives in all their subtleties and complexities.

contents include:
In the Event of Contact: A girl has a disorder where she experiences seizures if anyone accidentally touches her.
Into the West: A man, who is following the example of unfaithfulness his father set, has his complaining mother visit.
Everywhere She Went: A woman is still affected by the disappearance of her best friend when they were children.
Rare, But Not Impossible: A visit home for a friend's wedding stresses out a woman who does not want children.
UNWANTED: A teen who loves to read wants to be the next Sherlock Holmes.
Collisions: Two long time female friends have a night out.
At the Side of the Road: A young woman sells produce at a stand for the summer and wonders what she will do next.
Blindsided: A grouchy male crossing guard gets hit by a truck and hires a woman to help his recovery at home.
Before Storms Had Names: A farm family takes in a lodger and the son, Rory, is smitten. 
Blue Hot: A 17 year-old young woman dates an 18 year-old man who beat up some other teens on their first date.
Wilde: A woman has Oscar Wilde become her invisible companion.
F Is for Something: A priest with dementia is being forced to retire.
Any Wonder Left: Sister's clean out their father's house after his death and one of them finds help getting trash to the dump.
The Great Blue Open: A woman is experiencing a woman's health problem and needs a medical diagnoses.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Dzanc Books in exchange for my honest opinion.

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