The Reading Countess's Reviews > Shout Her Lovely Name

Shout Her Lovely Name by Natalie Serber
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Jun 17, 12

bookshelves: adult, short-stories, arc
Read from June 16 to 17, 2012

** spoiler alert ** *Netgalley ARC

Shout Her Lovely Name is a beautiful collection of short stories centering around one central theme: mother-daughter bonds. Intrigued by this idea due to my rather (ahem) complicated relationship with my own madre, I was immediately drawn in by the first page. Two stories that captured me were the college student who falls for her professor on her way to meet the in-laws, infant in tow, who exhibits an awe inspiring act of generosity towards another infant; and the middle aged, stay-at-home mom struggling to define who she is in a shifting family dynamic.

Woven throughout the book are Ruby and her daughter Nora, their own complicated relationship playing throughout generations of their lives. First we find Ruby as a college student struggling to connect with her dysfunctional family. We then find that she is "in a family way" while in college, her bumbling and insensitive paramour leaving her with a note and her belongings carefully packed into her one Samsonite suitcase at the hospital. Ruby struggles along as a single mother as the years tick by earning her keep first as a secretary and later as an idealistic teacher. The story surrounding her students is especially hardbreaking, although when Nora finally meets her long absent father my heart broke for her with equal empathy. The final story about mother Ruby and daughter Nora left me angry with Ruby, and I wanted to hear more about how the selfish and youth seeking Ruby learned her lesson and mended the rift between she and Nora. At least, that's how I envision it in my head.

Natalie Serber's writing is spectacular, her ability to see the world both from a mother's and a daughter's viewpoints inspiring, and her humorous and spot-on quiet assertions about who we are as women in a world quick to define us left me nodding my head.

Highly recommended.
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