Friday April 17th, 2009

Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff

delicate-edible-birds_lRecommended by Maggie in Detroit, Michigan.
Delicate Edible Birds, a terrific collection of short stories by Lauren Groff, is a book I can comfortably recommend to others, despite being pretty underwhelmed by Groff’s first novel, The Monsters of Templeton. (Of course, I’m a sucker for short stories, birds and impossibly pretty book covers, so I’m sure all those things weigh heavily in this book’s favor.) The nine stories in Groff’s collection are set in wildly different times and locations, but are linked together by motifs of love, sex, violence, crime, and, yes - birds. The female protagonists - many of whom are victimized by the men in their lives - are strong, accomplished women. Groff’s characters are so well formed she makes it look easy, and the stories she builds around them are engrossing, moving, and written with an elegant hand. In short, I may have traded away my copy of The Monsters of Templeton, but Delicate Edible Birds is a keeper. (And not just because it looks gorgeous on my bedside table.)