Thursday, February 7, 2008

Waltzing the Cat by Pam Houston

In the time it took me to formulate some thoughts about Until I Find You, I also read Pam Houston's second book of linked short stories. I haven't read many linked collections, and taken collectively, the stories had much more of a trajectory than I would have anticipated (silly me thought they would be linked by the protagonist's name only). This was a nice surprise.

The stories are first-person accounts of Lucy O'Rourke, early-thirties nature photographer (and kick-ass adventure woman) who is unlucky in love but undeterred. The early stories are beautifully ragged, and through the course of the book become more determined (I'm not exactly sure what I mean by this, but I felt it). Readers get to know Lucy gradually, and by the end the pathos one feels for her is immense.

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