Wednesday, January 27, 2016
"American Housewife" by Helen Ellis
One of my 2016 New Year's resolutions is to read more short stories. Helen Ellis's collection "American Housewife" was released on January 12 to much acclaim, so I was excited to get approved for an ARC. This has been a wonderful collection to ease into my resolution - I thought I'd space them out one per day, but I loved these stories so much that I plowed through them all during the big snowstorm last weekend.
Helen Ellis is a professional poker player and a housewife herself. These stories are about housewives from different walks of life. Highlights include a woman married to a man gifted with the ability to fit women in the perfect bra, two women fighting over the decorations in their shared hallway, a woman welcoming a new member to her book club, and an author participating in a reality show. There are also several brief entries that felt more like food for thought than full stories - I still loved them.
Ellis writes with snark and wit, and creates modern characters who are both larger than life and in touch with the real world we all in inhabit every day. This collection was a great way to kick off my short story resolution, and I recommend it for anyone interested in seeing whether short stories could work for them.
Verdict: Affirmed. I can't wait to see what Helen Ellis does next.
"American Housewife" by Helen Ellis, published January 12, 2016 by Doubleday.