Grand Central. Apr. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9781538730966. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781538730959. F
This collection includes 30 stories, ranging from four to seven pages. Each satirical selection varies in tone from whimsical to humorous to provocative. Every title starts with "The Woman Who…," such as "The Woman Who Was Fed by a Duck" to "The Woman Who Had a Strong Suit." The unnamed women face their challenges and relatable dilemmas. In "The Woman Who Blew Away," the risks of excessive dependence on social media are highlighted. In another story, a tongue-tied heroine relates her fear of public speaking. An older woman desperately fears invisibility in "The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared." Some stories are surprisingly realistic; others are allegorical fables or surreal futuristic statements. Although not each piece is entirely successful, Ahern (PS, I Love You; Love, Rosie) offers many that clearly hit home. Readers get to experience and inhabit these situations through these feminist sketches.
VERDICT Bold, imaginative, eclectic sketches feature women at the crossroads. Their resilience when faced with hardship and their methods of overcoming obstacles help to create a thoroughly challenging, pertinent, and ultimately uplifting read.
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