Abigail's Reviews > If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This

If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This by Robin Black
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Apr 07, 11

Read in April, 2011

I just grabbed this book off a library shelf because the cover and title were intriguing. I read the first story and thought "Hmmm, pretty good. Wonder how the others will compare." The next was also great. And the next. And the next. All ten of them were incredible pieces of fiction. I have never come across such well developed and deeply feeling characters in short stories. I have never read a collection of short stories that I simply couldn't put down. In fact, I am often drawn to short stories because they require a less intense commitment than novels, and I can stretch out the reading. I finished this in three days and found it hard to go to bed once I had finished. I had to pick up Flannery O'Connor's Collected Stories to dull the pain--not because Black's stories pack the same sort of punch as O'Connor's or spotlight human depravity as O'Connor's do, but because the writing is of a similar caliber. Yes, it really is. Black writes of life crises: their build-up, their aftermath, and occasionally the living through them. But the emphasis is never on the crises. It is on the people affected by them, the relationships shattered--or not--because of them and the sheer banality of enduring them amidst all the other living one has to do. While examining some of the most heartbreaking possibilities imaginable, Black never fails to offer the reader hope if not for her characters' futures then simply for their very selves and the courage they--and all of us at one time or another--must bring to each day.
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Rumaizah Bakar Yeah, this collection is about the depth and complexity of feelings:)


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