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Shout Her Lovely Name

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  689 ratings  ·  152 reviews
"Coming of age is a painful and beautiful experience in Natalie Serber's hands. These are funny and poignant pieces, building a book that feels novelistic in sweep, yet true to the precision and direct aim of the short story. A real pleasure." —Antonya Nelson

Mothers and daughters ride the familial tide of joy, regret, loathing, and love in these stories of resilient and fl
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2012)
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I was turned off by the title story of this collection. It recounts the trials of a mother confronting and guiding her high school age daughter through a bout of anorexia nervosa--delicate subject--written in imperative sentences. The tone worried me; I thought I might be in for two hundred pages of sentimental whining. Not the case.

Most of the stories are linked to Ruby, the presumed anorexic girl mentioned above, and her daughter Nora, whose main challenges stem from the legacy of body image i
Serber's debut, a wonderfully spare collection of beautiful short stories is a delight to read! Readers who don't have a lot of time on their hands can read "Shout Her Lovely Name" in short snatches, but you'll want to read it all in one gulp!
It is so rare, especially now when it seems like everyone has a story to sell, to find a book where no writerly wall exists between you and the story. Where the author doesn't seem to be trying to impress you with style, at least a little. I was more than three quarters of the way finished with Shout Her Lovely Name (which I devoured, comparatively, these days) before it struck me that recurring character Ruby is not a real person.

You can ascribe that feeling to characterization that speaks tru
Sally G.
I rarely read Short Story collections. I'm not exactly sure why this is - but I tend to prefer investing reading time to a novel rather than what can feel like only a chapter.

This book was brought to my attention via Oprah's Summer Reading List featured in the July issue of her magazine - and I almost passed it by (because it's a series of short stories) ~ and for whatever reason, I not only read through the book's summary, but also clicked through to First Pages Excerpt (I receive O Magazine v
This group of short stories is a beautiful read that should be part of any women's studies college course. Estranged daughters, attached mothers, women learning about life and strength and change. The story about the airplane felt like Serber snuck into my postpartum head and stole my thoughts and emotions right out from me. Do you have a mother? Then you should read this book.
My original plan had been to cross-review this with Blueprints for Building Better Girls: Fiction which I'd started reading around the same times I'd started reading this.
This, however, I read during my half-hour lunch breaks so it took me a really, super, amazingly long time to get through it whereas I read the Blueprints book at home in, like, five days and now I've forgotten what I was going to say to compare the two, other than both are books of short stories that explore relationships femal
For years, I was convinced that I didn't like short stories. One too many forced marches through weighty anthologies had left me believing that the genre was limiting and vaguely unsatisfying. Thank goodness I persevered and found out just how powerful the medium can be in the right hands. A perfect example of this is Shout Her Lovely Name, the stunning debut collection by Natalie Serber.

Serber's short stories are sometimes sad, sometimes sweet, but always truthful and achingly familiar. They'r

I wouldn't call myself a Short Story person. I have this thing in my head where if I'm to open a book I want to be enveloped and in the knowledge that I'm going to be taken on a ride. I want a commitment. But like poetry where some speaks to you and you nod your head Yes- I get that, I know what the poet was feeling when she wrote that---You can sometimes read a short story and say wow- that packed a punch.

Shout Her Lovely Name did just that. Each story drew me in and made me feel like it was s
Melanie Greene

I mentioned about me and the short stories these days, right? Well, I'm still on that streak. And Serber's debut collection was immediate and open and real. Very "these people could be my neighbors." The title story in particular evoked the same "I'm not proud I thought it" feeling of gee, I'm so glad my kids are boys instead of girls I get sometimes when dining with my friends. Not that I'm unaffected by the complex and inextricably linked lines between m
Leslie Wilkins
I read this and participated in online discussions with the author via Goodreads' The Next Best Book Club (TNBBC).

I really liked the writing, the relatable characters, and the storylines in this book, but I think I wanted it to be a novel. This is a collection of short stories, most of them about the same mother-daughter pair. Interspersed are stories that have nothing to do with those characters, though, which just kind of interrupted the flow. I don't want to say I wish the book had just been
Nicely written assortment of short stories ... most of them about a mother-daughter trio at different stages and phases of their lives. I wasn't sure how the rare story that was NOT about Ruby or Nora necessarily fit in, but still liked the collection, overall.
Shelly Hammond
This is a book I had won on Goodreads back in June of 2013. Having finally read it, I was pleasantly surprised by most of the stories within. When I first started reading it, I was afraid that it wasn’t going to be one that was going to make the good list but after reading a story or two, it became quite amazing.

All the stories have some sort of mother and daughter link, even if only very remotely. The first story was well written but the end came on quickly and it was sort of a letdown. I won’t
I received this book awhile ago. I really wish I had read it sooner, it was an easy but charming read. Natalie Serber did an excellent job making the characters seem real, especially Ruby and Nora. Their struggle felt genuine, the characters were well rounded. Shout Her Lovely Name depicts the mother and daughter relationship so accurately, I think every mother and daughter should read the book.

Typically I don’t read short stories, if I get involved with characters I want them to stick around f
Lord knows mother/daughter relationships are complicated. I happen to have a mutually loving relationship with my own mother and found it hard to imagine one that is truly strained…until reading Natalie Serber’s debut book, Shout Her Lovely Name.

I may have appreciated it more if I was a mother myself, having gone through both the mother and daughter stages examined in this collection of short stories. Everything changes when you become a mother, in ways you can’t expect until you experience it,

Natalie Serber's collection of short stories all revolve around mothers and daughters. We have a mom who is struggling with her daughter's struggle with anorexia; a woman who married a man 25 years her senior, has a baby and then feels trapped by his attention to the child and her body; a woman who is planning her husband's 50th birthday and while dealing with her teenagers drinking, sexual escapades and body art and wondering where she stands in all of it. These three short stories are interspa
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Shout Her Lovely Name by Natalie Serber is an exquisite collection of eleven short stories featuring mothers and daughters. All of the stories in this collection are poignant and impressive in the complexity and depth of emotion captured. With the exception of three stories, nine of them follow the same woman. The stories included are: "Shout Her Lovely Name," "Ruby Jewel," "Alone as She Felt All Day," "Free to a Good Home," "This Is So Not Me," "Manx," "Take Your Daughter to Work," "A Whole Wee ...more
Andy Miller
All but three short stories in this collection are about Ruby who we meet in a story where she is a student picked up on a college break by her drunken dad who insists on going to a bar before taking her home to her emotionally abused mom. Later stories focus on specific events of her life from her becoming pregnant, her being abandoned by her boyfriend shortly after she gives birth to their daughter and Nora. The stories then change voice, first person narratives by Nora. While those stories sh ...more
This is a story about a mother and daughter, intercut with stories about other families. So it's a collection of short stories, and there is a sort of theme, but it's a bit like an interrupted novel at the same time.

The writing is lovely and some lines really rang true. As an exploration of familial (mostly female) relationships, I am not sure how I feel about it. There is plenty of truth in it. But I think the competition and spite that recurs in the relationships between women in this book is
Virginia Campbell
A slim volume that packs a punch, "Shout Her Lovely Name", by Natalie Serber, explores the complexities of life with mothers and daughters. You'll recognize many people you know in these characters, and even if you don't admit it, you're in there too. There can be a very fine line between love and loathing--difficult circumstances, enforced constant company, unexpected hardships, emotional upheavals, and pointed, poignant humor--all these things can change "like" to "dislike". I lived with my mo ...more
DISCLOSURE: This book was won via the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program. The following is my honest review and opinion of the book.

This compilation of short stories shared a theme about the relationships between mothers and their daughters. The first story was written as if you are reading the thoughts of a mother going through the discovery of her daughter’s anorexia and the ongoing battle to save her from herself. Several of the stories revolved around the lives of Ruby Hargrove and her d
Book Him Danno
I have to be honest, I tried to finish this book but I just couldn't do it. This book, albeit interesting and extremely real, dropped the F-word way too many times for me. I tried to ignore it, but after ignoring it over and over again, the F-word was paired up with taking the Lord's name in vain. I shut the book and was done. I honestly don't understand the need to include vulgarities such as this. It does nothing to further the story. I would love to finish this book sans the F-word. I was ta ...more
Julie - Book Hooked Blog
My reading year so far has been chock full of short stories. The fact that the unifying theme of Serber's book is mothers and daughters just made it that much more appealing. Several standalone stories explore issues such as a daughter's anorexia and a young mother's position as the wife of her much older professor. The real highlight, however, is a suite of stories following the lives of two characters - Ruby, who has a troubled relationship with her own mother, and Ruby's daughter, Nora, who c ...more
Emma Dries
This is a beautiful collection of short stories. Not only is it a love letter to mother/daughter relationships, but also a love letter to mothers and daughters individually and their intersecting paths in life.

While I normally shy away from books geared so specifically toward an audience, Natalie Serber truly surprised me and rose above the crowd that attempts to write eloquently about the complexities of families. As readers we are used to stories that trace the tumultuous path of familial rel
Bonnie Brody
Shout Her Lovely Name is a collection of short stories, many of them inter-connected and all of them dealing thematically with issues between mothers and daughters. Many of the stories are about Ruby and her daughter Nora. The stories about Ruby begin when she is in college and comes home to visit her parents in Florida. Shortly afterwards, she becomes pregnant and the plan is to give the baby up for adoption. At the last minute, Ruby changes her mind and keeps her little girl who she names Nora ...more
"Shout Her Lovely Name" is the story of mothers and daughters, women and their lovers.

In the first story of the book, we find a mother who is very concerned for her daughter. Seems like this daughter has an eating disorder. It is hard to accept. The father does not want to admit that his daughter is anorexic. She barely eats anything: "Not on my diet any more". What to do? Counseling?

The next story deals with a daughter coming home from college for a visit. The father picks her up and they stop
This is a quick but poignant and powerful read about the depth and complexities of mother - daughter relationships. Although you may not identify with all of the stories, I would guess that everyone could identify with at least a few elements of the various experiences within the book.

The book reads as a series of short stories. Eight of the eleven chapters (or stories) are about the same mother and daughter pair (Ruby and Nora) over the course of Nora's young adulthood. The characters in all o
The Reading Countess
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
How appropriate that I should read this book while visiting my parents in Alabama -- a trip that usually sees me regress to my teenage antics of screaming at my mother, sneaking cigarettes at the Orange Street pier, and asking snide rhetorical questions about our perfectly family dynamic. So I can relate to the daughters of this book and all the loving selfish rejecting dependent (ah yes, contradictions noted) elements of their relationships with their moms.

I was surprised to finally realize thi
"She named her cat Phil Donahue, hoping he'd greet her the way Donahue ran to the women in his audience, eager to hear anything they had to say about seat belts, war, or divorce." ("Manx," pg. 86)

Bam. Sold.

(Because like the character Nora above, I too as a young girl watched Phil Donahue with my mom back in the day and I loved him. Still do.)

Natalie Serber had me as a new fan of her writing, thanks to her debut collection of stories, but give me a character who names their cat Phil Donahue - aft
Originally Posted on A Novel Toybox:
Natalie Serber took me by surprise and sent me on a heartfelt journey of family ties in her debut short story collection, Shout Her Lovely Name . Serber's prose reads like beautiful poetry, inviting the reader to fill in the story with its clues. Through these eleven character-driven, poignant short stories about mothers and their children, Serber displays versatility, humor, and tears. I am fully enamored with her writing, and pleasantly surprised that this
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I grew up in Santa Cruz, California, an only child of a single mother, I spent my youth riding my bike and reading incessantly. My college days were spent at University of California at Irvine where I studied English with a writing emphasis and then I studied at UC Santa Cruz taking a degree in education. I imagined I would be a teacher like my mother, or maybe I would write for magazines. When I ...more
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“She named her cat Phil Donahue, hoping he'd greet her the way Donahue ran to the women in his audience, eager to hear anything they had to say about seat belts, war, or divorce.” 3 likes
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