Highbridge Audio. Apr. 2022. 7:14 hrs. ISBN 9781696608008. $14.95. F
This collection of 11 short stories examines the extensive range of interpersonal relationships, from parents to partners to siblings. Each heart-wrenching story follows the melancholy mélange of flawed main characters through life, love, and loss. Subjects include poverty, abuse, murder, addiction, betrayal, and more, with only the backdrop of California’s Central Valley to tie them all together. As the title implies, each story features unimaginable heartbreak, yet an undeniable glimmer of hope. Bieker (Godshot) uses her gritty writing style to craft character-driven storylines that are both alluring and agonizing. Even readers who don’t relate directly to the events will come away with a deep emotional connection to the characters. Narrator Emily Durante defies the air of desperation and dysfunction with a sedate, even tone during the most fraught moments. Durante’s straightforward presentation of the narrative complements the honest and open emotions of the characters.
VERDICT This audio will appeal to listeners looking for a captivating but cumbersome narrative; full of strife but sprinkled with sanguine glimpses of optimism and ambition. Recommended for fans of Elizabeth Strout, Xhenet Aliu, and Neel Mukherjee.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing