The intense short stories in this collection range from the rural midwest to a small town in the deep south to the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico to the back-country trout streams of Michigan and a steamy jungle in Southeast Asia.
In the first story, Consuela goes about her morning chores on the farm she and her husband have shared and worked for better than 50 years. But this morning he seems to be sleeping longer than usual.
In “A Shiny Life,” an elderly woman is last seen on a soggy, dreary day by two of her neighbors who are playing checkers on a porch. Neither of the men ostensibly know her all that well, but maybe one knows her better than he lets on. A young family comes to town a few days later looking for the woman, and they’re even less familiar with her than the men are.
In “Bird Huntin'” a warm tale of friendship necessarily takes a sharp turn down a dark path, and in “Do What’s Right” the story continues.
In “Keep Calm & Carry On,” a sniper team is out to get the guy they’ve been hunting, and who’s been hunting them, for several days. Who knew trout fishing on a wild river in the deep woods of America could have such an impact on an intense, deadly mission? These stories will remind you of Ernest Hemingway’s work in the later years.
Recommended search terms: Hemingway-esque, farm life, war, sniper, trout fishing, euthanasia, deep south