Perfect Lives by Polly Samson

In an English seaside town, lovers and children, young men and middle-aged women, weave in and out of each other's lives and stories. A mother is tormented by her daughter's tattoo; another only pretends to love her baby. A wife stalks her husband and his new lover; a broken egg through a letterbox tells a story that will not go away; the cat thinks he knows best. Threaded throughout are longings for love and poignant disappointments, surprising pleasures and temptations. Some will fall but some, like the small boy at the circus who sees his babysitter fly past on a trapeze wearing little more than a blue bra and spangles, will retain their feeling of awe.

The Atmospheric Railway by Shena MacKay

Shena Mackay is one of the very best short-story writers in the world. The Atmospheric Railway contains not only thirteen brilliant new stories, but a selection of twenty-three more from her previous collections, making it a delight for her existing admirers and the perfect introduction to her work for newcomers.

Close range by Annie Proulx

These stories are set in the beautiful, wild landscape of Wyoming where cowboys live much as they have done for generations - hard, lonely lives in unforgiving country. Review by Tuesday Afternoon Reading Group Stunnig and excellent descriptions of landcape, weather and people. Overall feeling of bleak, hard lives. Very well researched and interesting. Difficult… Continue reading Close range by Annie Proulx