I don’t think I quite understood how insular the world is for the people left behind when the men go off to war. I never stopped to think about the casualties in the form of relationships, missed childbirths, and anniversaries uncelebrated. Siobhan Fallon captures the loneliness that comes from empty beds, dusty closets, and broken hearts. Even though my own father served in the military, all of the stories that he tells are far away and quiet, as though submerged beneath a layer of time that he refuses to slough off. He doesn’t want to remember what happened. But the women and children left behind, sometimes abandoned, don’t have the luxury of forgetting.Read More
My mother always told me that if you needed to critique someone, the best way to do it was in a compliment sandwich: one positive thing, the critique itself, and then end on a positive note. I’m sure we’ve all heard it before. “I really loved the introduction to your short story. I don’t understand why you claim to be a writer, and all of your craft is garbage. But you have a lovely point of view and your love of the protagonist is inspiring.” You know, The Critique. The “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Nobody ever wants to be on the receiving end of that kind of a critique. Why do I bring all this up?
My first thought after finishing How to Make a Wish was that everyone agrees that peanut butter is inherently the best comfort food. I, for one, have been of this school of thought since peanut butter and Oreos in Lindsay Lohan’s revamp of The Parent Trap. It’s funny and also comforting to know that other authors (and characters) believe in the curative, transformative powers of peanut butter.Read More