Barbara Sutton's quirky debut collection tracks the emotional journeys of characters struggling to find harmonious relationships with the people they are expected to love and be loved by. All too often, for Sutton's characters, such supposedly sacred relationships disappoint. In the end, it is not the loved ones who are loved, but the strangers met through chance encounters--the interim mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, husbands and wives. Such unlikely friendships weave their way through Sutton's stories and create sometimes funny and sometimes tragic reflections on the accidental and often fleeting nature of love.
Through Sutton's vibrant voices we meet a memorable and varied cast of characters, all suffering the same fate. From the adolescent Marta, who finds a substitute for her absent mother and father in her grandmother's improbable and eccentric relationship with the parish priest, to the emotionally unstable, unemployed Virginia Woolf scholar who finds kinship with a belligerent, equally unstable, nine-year-old boy, Sutton delivers authentic scenes of severe isolation coupled with brief moments of resplendent harmony. It is these transitory moments, these glimpses into the elusive world of light, that manage to sustain our hope.