MLA Gold Award Site

Summary and book reviews of Love Stories in This Town by Amanda Eyre Ward

Love Stories in This Town

by Amanda Eyre Ward

Love Stories in This Town
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Apr 2009, 224 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

From San Francisco to Savannah, Montana to Texas, Amanda Eyre Ward’s characters are united in their fervent search to find a place where they truly belong. Her stories are imbued with humor, clear-eyed insight, and emotional richness.

From San Francisco to Savannah, Montana to Texas, Amanda Eyre Ward’s 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 she’s 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 mother’s love or the consolations of marriage, Amanda Eyre Ward’s stories are imbued with humor, clear-eyed insight, and emotional richness.

Excerpt
Love Stories in This Town

Should I Be Scared?

I first heard about Cipro at the potluck.

“Thank God I’ve 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 husband’s 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, ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Though the book’s title may seem romantic, it actually comes from a moment of extreme cynicism–a bartender telling Lola after her ex-boyfriend’s wedding that “There are no love stories in this town.” Why do you think Ward chose this as the title for the collection? Did reading these stories make you see love stories in a different light?

  2. If you have read Ward’s novels, did you find the tone or perspective of any of these stories familiar? How would you describe Ward’s writing style? Her characters?

  3. Fertility and pregnancy play a big role in a number of these stories. How do the women in these stories approach motherhood? Is it different from how their husbands seem to be approaching fatherhood? ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

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 Members Only (755 words).

Media Reviews

The Miami Herald - Christine Thomas

The stories' unsettling and intriguing first lines rocket the reader into Eyre Ward's imagined landscapes. In the prosaically titled 'Motherhood and Terrorism' the initial sentences evoke a beheading and a baby shower

Los Angeles Times - Marion Winik

"She thought the baby shower would be canceled due to the beheading, but she was wrong."

If I were reading this review instead of writing it, those first sentences might be enough. They are filled with humor, intelligence and foreboding; they have freshness and frisson; they allude to cultural and personal moments I care about; they have a clean, seemingly artless delivery.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. Luminous work from a gifted writer.

Publishers Weekly.

Starred Review. The way Ward balances ruefulness and hope is singularly impressive.

Library Journal

Ward's often bewildered characters' efforts to keep trying to get it right is romantic courage at its most vulnerable. Strongly recommended.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

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....

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Love Stories in This Town, try these:

  • The Last Secret jacket

    The Last Secret

    by Mary McGarry Morris

    Published 2010

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Nora Hammond is a woman blessed with the perfect life: a charming husband, two bright teenage children, a successful career. But Nora's comfortable existence threatens to unravel when she learns of her husband's longtime affair, and a sordid incident from her youth returns with terrifying force.

  • The School of Essential Ingredients jacket

    The School of Essential Ingredients

    by Erica Bauermeister

    Published 2010

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    A lesson in cake-making leads to reflections on a marriage; tortillas teach a girl to believe in herself. A man learns about love while creating tiramisu. The School of Essential Ingredients follows the lives of eight cooking students and their teacher in a class that meets in Lillian’s restaurant kitchen.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Everybody's Fool
    Everybody's Fool
    by Richard Russo
    Written from multiple viewpoints, Everybody's Fool features an ensemble cast of inhabitants ...
  • Book Jacket: The Strings of Murder
    The Strings of Murder
    by Oscar de Muriel
    As Jack the Ripper eludes the police at Scotland Yard in London and all efforts to catch the most ...
  • Book Jacket: If I Was Your Girl
    If I Was Your Girl
    by Meredith Russo
    Who defines us? Do we ourselves, or does the society in which we live? Meredith Russo's ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams

    The Roaring Twenties comes to life in this tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Since She Went Away
    by David Bell

    A chilling novel of guilt, regret, and a past which refuses to die...

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.