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Incredibly good stories filled with unforgettable moments--the end of "Her Real Name" in particular is one of those you never forget. It's weird that this guy doesn't have more books out...
All the stories here have a strong voice in the narration and, if memory serves, each has an undercurrent of sadness that is far more palpable than the general domestic trivia you generally find in the products of graduate programs.
The title story is the most notable in the collection and has been anthologized in such publications as Best American Short Stories and Janet Burroway's book on Writing Fiction. It follows an occasion where an adolescent escorts a drunk and emotionally unstable woman safely back to her home, and during the course of the walk various skeletons emerge from their respective closets. D'ambrosio takes a risk with the final image, which some might find rather heavy handed, but I feel it works beautifully and strongly closes the story.
Perhaps my favorite story in the book is "Her Real Name," which follows the relationship between a traveling man named Jones and the strange young woman he picks up, nameless and seriously ill, who finds solace in her faith in God and the company of her driving companion.
Anyhoo, there are seven stories here, and all are worthy reads, so you might want to check this book out.
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