Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review: Throw Like a Girl by Jean Thompson

Throw Like a Girl is a collection of short stories that illustrate the inner lives of women of all ages. All of these stories pull you in, lull into a familiar world and then take a sharp curve toward the unexpected. Jean Thompson expects you to hang on for this ride and you do, because as in all great story telling you must find out what comes next.

I'm older now than he was when he died. Things happen to the body over time that
are God's practical joke, and I don't much like this face I've got now. My life turned
out pretty ordinary. Not great, not awful, I'm not complaining. Nobody looking at me
now would guess there had ever been anything wild in me, anything as desperate as
that loving. I know we're meant to grow from experience, like a tree, send out roots
and branches of wisdom and patience and understanding. But my best and truest self
was a tree in blossom. All those years since, there's a sense in which they count for less,
even as they take up space, crowd out the past. That quick, there goes your life, like
a black-haired boy on a motorcycle, looking back until he's out of sight.
Jean Thompson, Lost

I love that last sentence. It slams right into my heart.

My favorite story in the this book was Pie of the Month. It combines small town America, elderly ladies making pie, the economy, immigration and war. I was cheering by the end of the story. Check out this collection, but fasten your seatbelt. It's quite a ride.

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