Married Love: and Other Love Stories

. December 2012. 224p. 978-0-06213-356-3. 14.99.
These stories are rich in character and steeped in class consciousness. In the exquisite title story, a 19-year-old violin student shocks her family by announcing that she intends to marry her music teacher, a married man 45 years her senior. To no one’s surprise, things don’t go well: three babies come along in rapid succession, her music career is forgotten, and other young women catch her husband’s eye. Other stories capture familiar slice-of-life moments: a cleaning woman, diligently scrubbing toilets in an industrial work site, is preoccupied with her son’s safe return from Afghanistan; a rectory-raised college student visiting her boyfriend’s parents for the first time overhears his mother ridiculing her posh accent; and a schoolgirl’s new friendship with a girl from “the Homes” is a cause for concern to her mother.
VERDICT There is not a lot of domestic bliss to be found in these finely rendered stories, but there are many small moments of everyday life made recognizable by an exceptional storyteller. Highly recommended.

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