Coming This Week: Army Wife’s Stories

It’s always heartening to see a good short story collection generate some heat. Last week, New York Times critic Janet Maslin singled out Siobhan Fallon‘s tales of military families on the edge in Fort Hood, Texas, You Know When the Men Are Gone, calling it a ” brief, tight collection — and there’s not a loser in the bunch.”

Male soldiers and their families are at the center of most of the stories, punctuated by sharply observed detail. As Maslin observes, one character is “haunted by the Grimm fairy tales that his daughter reads because his own life is full of latter-day versions of them. Why is the story of starving Hansel and Gretel any worse than that of a young Army corporal killed three days before he was due to see his wife and newborn baby?”

At libraries we checked, orders are in line with modest holds.

You Know When the Men Are Gone
Siobhan Fallon
Retail Price: $23.95
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam – (2011-01-20)
ISBN / EAN: 0399157204 / 9780399157202

Usual Suspects

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Strategic Moves by Stuart Woods (Putnam) is the 19th novel featuring quasi-secret agent and lawyer Stone Barrington. Kirkus says, “Woods, who evidently writes to a precise word length without bothering with beginnings and endings, delivers loads of juicy complications but no payoffs.”

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The Orchid Affair (Pink Carnation Series #8) by Lauren Willig is the eight installment in the romantic spy series set in Napoleonic France. Booklist calls it “another delightfully delectable adventure from Willig, who expands her rich, appealing stable of characters with each entry.”

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