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My cherry-popping review of "Single, Carefree, Mellow" by Katherine Heiny

When Washington Independent Review of Books first sought me out to review a book for them, I was both leary and flatered. (Actually, I thought it was going to be one of those please forward $500 to this account and you can share in the spoils of a hidden gem mine in Calcutta that I stumbled upon.) But, no! It was legit and I was still leary of the 400 page historical time-suckage novel they suggested I review. Graciously they inquired as to what genre I would rather focus on. When I asked if they had any short story collections I was pleasantly surprised when they gave me 5 choices to pick from. I chose Heiny's and never regretted the decision. Read on if you'd like to know why.

This witty collection explores how it is we fit into our own lives.

Katherine Heiny’s collection of new and previously published stories will leave you laughing and crying, like a late-night conversation with your best friend over a pint of mint chip. Although three of the tales involve the same character, the collection depends more heavily on theme and voice to tie it together. And, oh, does the voice work.

Heiny’s masterful details make us feel like we know these people. Ridiculous observances immerse us in their world. Two friends at a bar notice a sign for cream of potato soup. “She’d rather shoot herself than eat anything served here, and Sasha says it’s so disturbing that the word potato is in quotes, like maybe it’s not made from real potatoes, and Monique says it almost certainly isn’t.” The thread goes on in this Seinfeld-esque way, and the reader finds herself saying, “I know these women. I think I might be one of these women.”

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