by Helen S., December 31, 2013 4:51 PM
Stevan Allred guides us through the devious pathways of the human heart in this debut collection of linked short stories set in the fictional town of Renata, Oregon. Acts of neighborly kindness rub elbows with acts of raw prejudice. A rejected son learns complicated grief after the death of his father. The stunt of two brothers, an unexpected variation on boys will be boys, brings laughter in one story, then recurs in a tragic later story in a moment of magical realism. Allred offers a dazzling variation in storyteller voices, each revealing how often we hide our desires from ourselves and each other.