Love Like That by Emma Duffy-Comparone
There is a new writer in town, and as this volume of short stories consumes us, we can’t help our excitement. Full of relevant, real women coming to terms with themselves within beautifully written prose, Love Like That is one of the best new books of short stories I have read. Like Raymond Carver, Duff-Compare hits us in the heart and soul.
The Zen Thing
The messiness and turmoil of families, the closeness annihilating yet familiar, the pettiness a sharp arc, the measurement of all besides the one: Duffy-Comparone releases familial women who pivot around Anita, a daughter, as they attempt a family outing at the beach.
Fifteen-year-old Ann, known to her boss as Ms. McMaster, takes a summer job as a ticket taker at Marvel Sands State Beach. Her boss, Mr. Manuel, is cynical, crude, and loud, and forms an odd landscape for the girl as she bleeds into adulthood. Call me Russ, he says to Ann, as they form a strange relationship. In a surprise ending, Duffy-Comparone shifts Ann’s reality as well as Russ’s reality. Wonderful authenticity.
A woman named Ruth watches as her boyfriend leaves her, driving away into the sunset. She decides to have a yard sale with the stuff left in her house. She moves back home with her mother. Wandering around her old town, she steps into a fish shack where she worked as a teenager and is astonished to find the owner, Eddy, still there. She and Eddy had a relationship of sorts although she now sees how much older he is. She decides to take a job there, and as ruth works, she releases herself from the girl she was and finally sees Eddy for what he is: a jerk.
The other short stories sort themselves into this side of wonderful:
- The Package Deal
- The Offering
- Love Like That
- The Devil’s Triangle
Do not pass this book up. It is one of the bright stars of 2021!!
Ava received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. We receive a small commission when you purchase this book via our links.