Evans' debut collection of short stories are refreshing to say the least. Not only is this applicable to the content but also her writing. She brings her characters to life in a way that can be hard to capture in shorts. While some short stories leave the reader feeling unsatisfied or disengaged, Evans manages to bring a sense of completeness to much of this collection. She bobs and weaves through life's entanglements with a graceful urgency. Of course the standard issues, or "isms", are prominent in this work. however, they don't take away from the universality of the work.
In "Snakes" (arguably the best of the collection) we get a story dealing with being of mixed-race. The author serves up subtle and shocking in this tale without seeming contrived. Her writing shines as she relays a strong loneliness and desperation of cousins Allison and Tara.
"Harvest" is a standout as it juxtaposes two college girls--one who donates her eggs to a fertility clinic and the other dealing with an unwanted pregnancy--masterfully.
Danielle Evans has pumped some life back into Black fiction that was lying lifeless in the malnourished body of urban/street fiction. My hope is renewed in bourgeoning Black authors who aren't merely in hot pursuit of a paycheck and false sense of glory when their "my baby daddy don't love me no more so I gotta go be a ride or die chick" novel makes the NYT bestsellers' list. So, thank you Danielle Evans for writing about the kinds of Black folks and situations to which the rest of us can relate.
This book was provided by the publisher.