Selecky’s debut collection of 10 short stories contains almost all the right ingredients.
In a group of stories that explore the power of love, friendships, familial relationships and all of the emotions these entanglements elicit, Selecky delves beneath the surface to provide an honest and insightful glimpse into her characters’ lives and situations, which sometimes parallel our own. Often witty and poignant, each story can stand on its own and contains components both familiar and unique: a woman who discovers that her engaged best friend is having an affair as she deals with a drunken ex who’s just shown up at her door and is coping with a disastrous and very funny dinner party; a young girl desperate to break away from her ultrareligious father who ends up making out with a total stranger in the back of a bus as she travels back home; a woman who hopes to conceive with her husband during a weekend getaway only to end up doubting his fidelity and making love with a friend; and a young man who questions his own values and the actions of his wife and her friends when he witnesses a mother’s neglect of her young child. While women may identify more readily with the dynamics of each situation and the characters that inhabit each tale, most readers will appreciate the author’s simple and straightforward writing. A few narratives aren’t as interesting as others, and it takes effort to get through them, but given the strength of the overall collection of stories, this weakness is easy to overlook.
Although some stories resonate more loudly than others, ultimately Selecky’s party is worth attending.