Robin Romm | The Mother Garden: Stories (Scribner, 189 pgs.)

book_romm.jpgI soon found myself drawn deeply in Romm’s stories and the characters inhabiting them.







I used to be a huge fan of short stories; used to write ’em myself, matter o’ fact. But lately, despite the time crunch I so frequently find myself under, I find myself more drawn to full-length tomes, novels and nonfiction alike. I want something more substantial, something I can really sink my teeth into.

Still, I picked up the review copy of Robin Romm’s The Mother Garden when it arrived in the P.O. box. The cover art was simple yet appealing (yes, I am one of those people who judge a book by its cover, literally); I figured it was worth a shot.

And beyond being appealing, I soon found myself drawn deeply in Romm’s stories and the characters inhabiting them. Although an element of magical realism wound throughout the narratives, the prose was such that the tales demanded an instant connection, a vested interest in what was happening to these make-believe people.

Romm covers such real-life topics as a dying mother "The Arrival" juxtaposed with the discovery of a girl (homeless? wild? make believe?) brought home, impossibly expected to fit into the household; an absent father discovered living in the desert "Lost and Found," also non-reconcilable when under the same roof; a trial-by-egg as a prelude to fatherhood ("The Egg Game"); and a string of beads as momento of a mother passed on ("The Beads").

The characters in The Mother Garden aren’t especially grounded in reality, which plays to their favor. The stories here give us the chance to give in to our crazy ideas and silly inclinations. They give us the freedom to explore the impossible, to make it possible. | Laura Hamlett

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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