Tom's Reviews > Nothing Right: Short Stories

Nothing Right by Antonya Nelson
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's review
Dec 28, 2009

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bookshelves: first-reads
Read in January, 2010

Antonya Nelson presents a collection of short stories, whose heavily introspective narration seeks to give us a glimpse into the motives for their decisions, actions, even their lives. Here is a sampling, listed by story title:
“Nothing Right” – A free-spirited woman who has done “nothing right” in her marriage or in the raising of her (now) fifteen-year-old son, now faces the repercussions of her life.
“Party of One” – A woman meets with her suicidal sister’s lover to convince him to break up with her gently.
“OBO” – A woman is distraught when her advances toward her professor’s wife are rebuffed.
“Kansas” – Two sisters who live together (with their husbands) are shocked when the teenage daughter of one disappears with the toddler daughter of the other.
“Biodegradable” – A happily married woman begins a series of serial affairs.
“DWI” – a married woman who, as an eight-year-old, accidentally killed her younger brother, must deal with the possibility that her lover killed himself because of her.
Ms. Nelson keeps us engaged with the story, providing characters with enough mystery about them that we continue to want to know, as the story progresses, “What happens next?”
I received a complimentary copy of this book through’s “First Reads” program.

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