Title: Back Talk
Author: Danielle Lazarin
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction
Source: Free ARC from Penguin Books
Rating: 5 stars
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Penguin Books via Edelweiss. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Review: It wasn’t long ago that I would have said I don’t enjoy short stories. They try to say too much in too little space. They don’t allow for in-depth character development. It’s too difficult to get emotionally invested. That had been my experience with short stories anyhow, the few that I’d given any time to. But recently, I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on short stories that have proved me wrong, that have shown how deep you can go within only a handful of pages, convincing me that a small collection of “just right” words can carry a profound voice, and this collection by Danielle Lazarin, is one of those.
Back Talk is about women. Girls and women. An exploration of so many different circumstances we find ourselves in throughout a lifetime and some of the ways we feel and deal with them. Some stories I felt more connected to than others. “Spider Legs” made me cry. “Weighed and Measured” made me feel known. And “Second-Chance Family” broke me a little bit, the way it reflected back bits of my self that I choose not to examine too frequently. With the exception of the few extremely itty bitty short stories in this collection, every story spoke to me, in honest, intimate, beautiful words.
A true pleasure to read, this is one of those books I’m going to buy so I can read it over and over again. Whether or not you like short stories, this is a book I’d recommend. In fact, if you find you don’t like short stories, this book just might change your perspective on them.