Families are really quite an enigma. The wife or husband one meets and perceives in one way either changes dramatically or becomes frozen for the rest of his or her life. Relationships are complex, and Molly Antopol has crafted very clear but unpredictable short stories in this collection.
You will meet a gentleman who wants nothing but to live as an American but who meets a Ukrainian woman, whom he marries. Out of love he will follow her to her hometown in Europe, only to get the surprise of his life at her transformation upon arrival. Then there’s the Israeli soldier who is the recipient of several medals for his noble bravery. Arriving home, he suffers a fluke accident and seems to check out on life, but then has one moment of violent reconnection that leaves one unsure of his future or of his brother’s future as well. Or what about the man who was a political rebel in Russia who refused to give away secrets and is well-respected for his role in history. When he discovers his daughter is writing a play in which he is one of the characters, he has several very different reactions when he meets her, and they finally get around to discussing her play.
These are just a few tidbits of the literate tales of the 20th century to be enjoyed herein. At the end of each story in this unique collection is a stunning end that both makes one stop reading from the impact and forces one to reflect on what has just transpired. Justifiably compared to Nicole Krauss, Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, Molly Antopol is a remarkably talented writer whose historical short stories are distinctly enjoyable and highly recommended!