Sunday, April 3, 2011

Swim Back to Me-Ann Packer

Swim Back to Me
Ann Packer
Knopf, Apr 5 2011, $24.95
ISBN: 9781400044047

"Walk for Mankind". In 1972 in Stanford, shy and sorry eighth grader Richard Appleby meets new and weird Sasha Horowitz walking home from the school bus. She is rebellious and has an affair with a drug dealer while he remains reticent.

“Molten”. Fortyish Kathryn grieves the loss of her son Ben by playing his music.

“Jump”. Alejandro hides his affluence in order to work at a photocopy shop where his colleague Carolee wonders why the incompetent is not fired.

"Dwell Time". Lara’s first husband Adam was always notoriously late. Her second spouse Matt was always early. Now he is late for the first time in their relationship and Lara is worried something happened to him as this is out of character for him.

"Her First Born." In Eugene, Dean has never understood why his wife Lise remembers every little event involving her late child Jasper from her first marriage until she gives birth to his son Danny.

"Things Said or Done". Fiftyish Sasha looks back to when she met reticent Richard thirty five years ago when she was the one out of control and now when he has become the one out of control.

This excellent anthology consists of one novella (Walk for Mankind) and five shorts with each providing readers with an in-depth psychological look at the dynamics of relationships. The well-written bookend Sasha tales are especially discerning.

Harriet Klausner

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