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Other people we married : stories
Emma Straub
Adult Fiction STRAUB

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Though fresh and satisfying insights can surface in even the most common terrain, this debut story collection, from the daughter of horror heavyweight Peter Straub, offers little originality or wit. Despite the stories taking place in different locations, what the characters encounter along the way remains provincial, the circumstantial and geographic territory covered ringing all too familiar. Set in the Midwest, "Some People Must Really Fall in Love," presents a young female professor with a crush on one of her students. In "Rosemary," set in Brooklyn, a new mother's beloved cat flees after the baby is born. In the title story, Franny's best friend is a gay man who awkwardly accompanies her and her husband on a Martha's Vineyard vacation. "Puttanesca," by contrast, is a delight: Stephen and Laura met through their bereavement counselor, having each lost a significant other when young. Despite a trip to Italy, Laura in particular remains in the shadow of her dead husband, and in this there is tenderness and intrigue. "Orient Point" follows an unlikely couple and their baby to Long Island. Though it's the shortest of the collection, it's also the strongest, nailing both a humor and an inevitable loss that is never quite realized in the other stories. Agent: Jenni Ferrari-Adler, Brick House. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Straub's stories go down easy, like a remembered conversation with a wise and witty friend. In her debut collection, she establishes characters and situations that feel immediately familiar and draw one in from the start. Many of her first sentences read like overheard dialog from the couple at the next table at the local bistro, but in this case one gets the chance to learn the delicious context. A story called "Rosemary" begins, "Claire didn't want to tell her husband that she'd called a pet psychic." Another, titled "A Map of Modern Palm Springs," features two sisters with a difficult history trying out a vacation together and begins, "The Palm Springs airport was more outside than inside, all sun-soaked breezeways and squinting white people in gold shirts." VERDICT These stories of love in its various permutations, gone wrong and right, are told with a captivating wryness, reminiscent of the early Ann Beattie, that readers will find tremendously appealing.-Sue Russell, Bryn Mawr, PA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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