Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Labors of the Heart: Stories” as Want to Read:
Labors of the Heart: Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Labors of the Heart: Stories

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  30 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Set in the small towns and outlands of the American West, Claire Davis's fiction has been anthologized, published in our most respected literary magazines, and widely praised as some of the truest, most affecting prose about this region in decades. Labors of the Heart demonstrates the breadth of her talent, insight, and empathy. "Adultery" follows a middle-aged man who lea ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Picador (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Labors of the Heart, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Labors of the Heart

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 74)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Samir Rawas Sarayji
Feb 14, 2013 Samir Rawas Sarayji rated it did not like it
Shelves: dumped
This started out promising with well written prose on relationship stories. But 60 pages into the book, on the fourth story, I felt I was reading the same thing over and over. The style of writing and story construction is the same in each story and quickly becomes monotonous. It's so easy to read this passively without being engaged in the prose. The characters' situations are the focus here, leaving me completely detached from the characters themselves. Worst of all, the narrative drift betwee ...more
Oct 25, 2007 Marrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Lorrie Moore
This is a stunning collection of short stories from a master of the form.

In Harold Bloom's opus on the Western canon, he considered the question of what makes a book great and concluded that it all comes down to strangeness. A great book always leaves a strange impression, and if it's strange, it will remain strange, no matter how many times you've read it. So it is with the collection. It catches you off-guard in that whimsical way of great storytelling.

In my mind, the only flaw that can be sa
Aug 23, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really gripping collection of short stories! Most of these stories are set out west (Montana, Idaho, etc.) and feature tough, weather-beaten characters who are shaken from their emotional complacency by an unexpected event in their lives. Davis's description of the setting is amazing; the mountains and lonely landscape almost become a character. While I enjoyed all of the stories, below are a description of my favorites.

In "Balance" a divorced couple seeks child custody mediation. The husband
I think it's probably the better part of valor to refrain from giving star ratings to books written by my professors, on the off-chance that someday I don't like one of 'em.

This is a fine collection of short stories. The conflicts and plots tend to arise organically out of character, out of the natural ebb and flow of relationships, aging, aspiration and frustration. Claire's relationships tend to have the texture and idiosyncracies of real things. However, that is not to say that these stories
Adam Colorado
My professor assigned the a story from this collection, during my freshman year. I found the story to be a breath of fresh air because it was an unconventional "romance" story.
Sarah Black
Jan 30, 2008 Sarah Black rated it it was amazing
Graceful, lovely writing. The stories are a clear, quiet look into the heart of Western people, the hard-working, well-intentioned, kind and tired sort of people who make up the small town in the west. I think my favorite story was Trash, but several others came close.
Here's a line from Electric:"Sometimes you make mistakes, he thought. Sometimes you did the unthinkable, when what was called for was merely the remarkable."
Nov 08, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These days short stories don't keep my interest (though they were my first love, when I was becoming a writer), but Claire Davis knocks me out.
Beautifully written with eloquent descriptions that drew me into the stories immediately. I especially liked "Tap" and "Balance".
داریوش عدالت
داریوش عدالت marked it as to-read
Dec 31, 2015
Marci rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2015
Will rated it it was amazing
Nov 27, 2015
Adrienne marked it as to-read
Nov 07, 2015
Stephanie marked it as to-read
Oct 19, 2015
Nousha marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2015
Dian marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2015
Amanda marked it as to-read
Apr 12, 2015
Sven Schubert
Sven Schubert marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2015
Kimberly Morris
Kimberly Morris marked it as to-read
Jan 02, 2015
Lux marked it as to-read
Dec 21, 2014
Cathy rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2014
Ruth Harrigan
Ruth Harrigan rated it liked it
Jul 10, 2014
Jennifer Knoetgen
Jennifer Knoetgen is currently reading it
May 17, 2014
Jo added it
May 14, 2014
Traci rated it really liked it
May 13, 2014
Farima marked it as to-read
Mar 15, 2014
Scott E
Scott E marked it as to-read
Mar 05, 2014
Diana is currently reading it
Mar 03, 2014
Rinazach marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2014
Silver Cloud
Silver Cloud marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2013
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Oct 14, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book