by Pam Houston

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Review

I first picked up this collection of short stories when I was in college, after reading “How to Talk to a Hunter” in one of my creative writing classes and thinking it was clever. I wasn’t super excited to read what seemed to me to be just “relationship stories,” so I put it down. I dove back into it this last month with the intention to persevere and just finish, and I quickly realized that I had done this book a huge disservice with my assumptions. Yes, these stories focus on relationships, but they’re much more than that. They’re told in first person, and you’re going along, following these women and her romantic troubles with some type of  “cowboy” or another when boom Pam Houston just lays some truth on you. Her characters are so strong, not because they can backpack and hunt and just basically get things done (which a lot of these characters can, but not all), but because they make choices and they own them, even if they are ill-advised. I would recommend this book to those who like short stories, stories about women, or stories about the west.

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