Ally Armistead's Reviews > Half in Love: Stories

Half in Love by Maile Meloy
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's review
Dec 01, 2011

really liked it
Read in December, 2011

"Half in Love" will always remain one of my absolute most-favorite short story collections. Ranging from WW II England to Montana ranch country to American suburbia, "Half in Love" explores just that, the nature of love between strangers, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and sons.

Of all the stories, the most powerful (for this reader anyway) is "Red," the story of an American soldier in WW II England who is so desperate for warmth and beauty that he tries to "extract" some measure of happiness from a war widow, only to find that the damage of war is so insipid and far-reaching, that the best they can muster between them is grief.

What I admire so greatly about Maile Meloy is her precision, her spare, heartbreaking prose. She is not interested in wow-ing us with over-the-top poetic language, but with the subtle nuance of minimalism and restraint.

A must-read for all lovers of short stories, and all writers of them, too.
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