This book is a collection of eight short stories with the unifying element of young, African-American or mixed race characters trying to find their way in modern American culture. When I read short stories, inevitably some affect me more than others; this book was no exception. The best of this bunch were:
- Virgins: two 16-year-old girls, tired of small-town life, go clubbing in New York City and find themselves growing up a little too fast.
- Snakes: Tara, a mixed race girl, spends a summer with her white grandmother and cousin. She finds herself in the middle of long-standing family tension, and one small but dramatic act results in years of emotional pain.
- Someone Ought to Tell Her: Georgie, recently returned from Iraq, offers to babysit his ex-girlfriend’s daughter when her regular childcare arrangements fall through. The arrangement fills an emotional void for both Georgie and the daughter, but ultimately results in a difficult conflict.
Unfortunately, in a couple of stories I found glaring factual inaccuracies which detracted from the author’s credibility. Sometimes this completely ruins my reading experience. In this case, I loved Evans’ voice, and her ability to quickly create pictures of her characters in my imagination. I’m sure we will see more from this promising young author.