Gritty, powerful and really great short story writing

Always Happy Hour - Stories 

by Mary Miller 
W. W. Norton & Company, Liveright
Hardcover, 256 pages, Expected publication: January 10th 2017
Miller has written a collection of short stories that centres on the how women perceived and are perceived in the modern world.
Her writing is sharp, honest and poignant. You are allowed to journey with each of the protagonists through a short moment of time in their lives. The women in these stories are looking for personal meaning, family, love, freedom, redemption, security, an array of emotions are laid bare and dissected.
What I really enjoyed was the small snippets of information or moments that just rounded out and gave depth to the stories. There is this beautiful moment when a couple are sitting in the car and the awkwardness is captured by a simple line that ‘The basketball that’s been rolling around in his trunk is finally still.’ Throughout all of the stories Miller is able to create these wonderful insights into character and create a wonderful sense of place. You do feel that you could walk around their houses that you are sharing in their lives.
What I did feel as a reader was great difficulty in moving away from the stories when they ended. I wanted to stay, I wanted to explore and I wanted to know more about the characters. I really wanted to immerse myself in these wonderful ordinary lives that are rich in detail and full of vibrancy.
Miller is extremely gifted in making what would appear to be ordinary non-descript lives just lift off the page. They are wonderfully complex, dense with emotions and heaps of baggage. The urbane suburb living is shown in all its gritty harsh reality and sprinkled with liberal doses of sex, drugs and booze.

I really enjoyed this collection of stories and I love Miller’s style. I will certainly be looking for more of her work. A really good read and highly recommend.  When this book comes out grab a copy and sit down for a really engaging confronting and wonderful read. Some one to watch out for.
You can find more out more about Mary Miller here.

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