Animal Wife by Lara Ehrlich (Review by Lisa Albright)

2 min read

5 stars

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this collection of short stories and I don’t read them often so I was pleasantly surprised to find that once I got started I couldn’t put this book down. Some of the stories are heartbreakingly beautiful and others mildly disconcerting but the graceful writing is always present and feels almost poetic.

I’m not one to actively seek out meaning, and I can find joy without truly comprehending the scope of a piece of work, and I feel that’s what happened with this book. I didn’t see fairytales and complex feminine issues. I found a quirky kind of beauty and felt peaceful when I read these stories despite the nature of some of them. The author has a way of bringing a calming magic to her words that makes them gentle and soothing regardless of the topic.
There was something incredibly relatable in all of these tales and I could catch glimpses of familiarity within their plots. I don’t think I would be able to put my finger on exactly what it is, but I don’t think that matters. The point is happening without my conscious awareness. That feeling of knowing and yet not being able to adequately express the exact nature of the knowledge. The feeling of recognition and transformation happening simultaneously. It’s why I read. I live for these moments of unconscious self-discovery. That is the real wonder and awe of the author’s storytelling.

A few of my favorites are Foresight, The Vanishing Point, and Burn Rubber. Something spoke to me in each one more strongly than the rest although I can’t pinpoint what it was. I read them all a couple of times and I was blown away by the imagery her words created and the attachment that I felt to the stories. This is a book that I will savor and reread many times. It occupies a special place in my heart and in my library. I hope to read more from this author as she is a new favorite and this book gets five stars from me.

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