This latest by Lauren Groff is a collection of nine short stories. Out of the nine, I liked one, not a good thing! Somehow, Groff seemed to have story lines that became so depressing even though the initial premise seemed to be promising. There is a big difference to depressing and sad. I have read many stories with sad elements that only added poignancy and depth to the overall book. Also, in a few of the stories she felt it necessary to add some sexual overtones that were not necessary to the story. In fact, one of them seemed perverse and had no reason to be in the story at all other than to turn me off to reading further. She seemed to pick up on the dark side of people’s nature. This is okay if it is done within a redeeming plot.
Her first book, Monsters of Templeton started out well but then it seemed the book went into too many rambling tangents. The story line was a good one and I felt with much tighter editing, it would have been a more enjoyable book. Therefore, I was a little hesitant at first about reading this latest but I thought if it were short stories, maybe that would be the fix. Unfortunately, I should have gone with my first instinct. Not recommended. 2**