Length : 275 pages, 11 stories
Set in, as the title suggests, Florida, this collection of short stories by Lauren Groff manages to convey intense, abstract yet concisely identified feelings through portraits painted of eleven women with varying lifestyles going through varying events. Throughout these eleven separate stories, a common theme exists with the looming, hinted-at threat of the impending ecological doom of planet earth as we know it. One can look at this however they want, but something I personally found particularly interesting was that protagonists lacked names, the anonymity lending itself to a strange feeling of kinship between the reader and the characters. (This was pointed out to me by Jack Walley, to whom it was pointed out by Virginia, so shout out to you!) There are really a lot of ways to look at short story collections like these, and a trend I’ve enjoyed in the previous couple of short story collections I’ve read has been ambiguity. Ultimately, these are eleven stories about eleven different women who are, in many cases, making difficult choices when faced by an immense, ominous threats, be it personal, ecological, or physical. Would strongly recommend.