From San Francisco to Savannah, Montana to Texas, Amanda Eyre Wards characters are united in their fervent search to find a place where they truly belong. Annie, a librarian in a small mining town, must choose between the only home shes ever known and the possibility of a new future.
Casey, a suburban New Yorker with a wry sense of humor, braves the dating scene after losing her husband. And in six linked stories spanning a decade of her life, Lola Wilkerson navigates elopement, motherhood, and lingering questions about who she wants to be when she grows up.
Whether exploring the fierceness of a mothers love or the consolations of marriage, Amanda Eyre Wards stories are imbued with humor, clear-eyed insight, and emotional richness.
Love Stories in This Town
Should I Be Scared?
I first heard about Cipro at the potluck.
Thank God Ive got Cipro, said Zelda. My doctor prescribed it for a urinary tract infection, and I still have half the pills.
Cipro? I said, my mouth full of artichoke dip.
Honey, said Zelda, where have you been?
It was a cold, clear night in Austin, Texas. After the disgusting heat of summer, the cool was a balm. Zelda wore a giant sweater, knit loosely from rough, rusty-colored wool. She stood next to the barbecue, holding her hands in front of the hot coals. In the kitchen, my husband and his scientist friends concocted an elaborate marinade.
Anthrax, whispered Zelda. She had just begun to date my husbands thesis advisor, and lent an air of glamour to departmental potlucks.
Excuse me? I said. I took a large sip of wine, which had come from a cardboard box.
Ciprofloxacin, clarified Zelda, ...
Ward’s stories offer entertaining, light reading punctuated by spurts of messy reality. The mix of heartache and humor, blended with sometimes outlandish circumstances will likely appeal to female readers like me, and most especially to those who are mothers... Negative and positive are nearly balanced in these stories and though we cannot expect the same in real life, this evenness makes for hopeful reading.
(Reviewed by Stacey Brownlie).
Full Review (1016 words).
Saudi Oil Communities
One of the stories in the Lola series finds Lola and her husband living in a Saudi Arabian compound for employees of the British Petroleum oil corporation. Oil companies have operated such managed communities in strategic areas of operation around the world for much of the 20th century and continue to do so today. Dhahran is the largest of four communities run by the Saudi oil company Aramco. Children of Aramco employees ("Aramcons") call themselves "Aramco brats," and their communities resemble military bases in many ways, with common areas, swimming pools, shopping centers, and schools. Aramco even produces its own magazine called Saudi Aramco World, which is published in the United States by an Aramco subsidiary....
If you liked Love Stories in This Town, try these:
Funny, heartbreaking, and alive with a potpourri of eccentric and irresistible characters, Broken for You is a testament to the saving graces of surrogate families, and shows how far the tiniest repair jobs can go in righting the worlds wrongs.
Devastating, evocative, and richly comic, Dark Roots deftly unveils the traumas that incite us to desperate measures and the coincidences that drive our lives. This arresting collection introduces a new master of the short story.
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