Thursday, April 18, 2024

#BookReview: Things I Want Back From You by Elizabeth Stix

Synopsis: Elizabeth Stix's debut story collection

Set in the fictional California town of San Encanto--a place where suburban angst coexists with the astonishing--a lonely wife finds her oppressive husband has become a dirigible who follows her from the sky, a neglected boy spends his summer unwinding a parasitic Guinea worm from his little sister's belly, and an aspiring life coach attends a self-actualization seminar that goes wildly off the rails. In THINGS I WANT BACK FROM YOU, Elizabeth Stix's hilarious and poignant debut of 20 linked stories, hopelessly flawed characters flail against their own insecurities, seeking one true moment of connection, and if they're lucky, winning that rarest of gifts--a second chance.

"Funny and poignant, this collection will resonate with any reader who has felt trapped by something inexplicable, what Stix calls 'the fishbowl of our circumstance.' She takes on love, alienation, betrayal, and recriminations with wit and wisdom, and a generosity of spirit. Her tight cast of characters is frequently smothered by longing, doubt, and sometimes each other in a California landscape that shimmers with possibilities just out of reach. Elizabeth Stix is a true bard of modern life."--Elizabeth Gonzalez James, author of The Bullet Swallower and Mona at Sea

"Elizabeth Stix's THINGS I WANT BACK FROM YOU is charming and inventive. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, the interlinked collection of stories--set in and around the Bay Area suburb of San Encanto--features achingly alive characters who yearn for connection. An enchanting debut."--Vanessa Hua, author of Forbidden City

"With sharpness and ease, Elizabeth Stix shows us how the short story, above all literary forms, can deliver an explosion of meaning and feeling. Neighbors, co-workers, families and friends mess up and carry on in stories of poignancy and humor that disturb and delight. An affirmation of the absurdity of life and the steadying power of love."--Kathryn Ma, author of The Chinese Groove

This title will release June 14, 2024.


Rating: 4 Stars
My Review: 
Wow. This book was so outside of what I usually read. This collection of short stories revolves around a small town called San Encanto. This book satisfies the curiosity of being a nosy neighbor. That is what initially drew me in. Each short story is about a member of San Encanto. The stories cover grief, loss, betrayal, failure, and more. They’re told in such a way that I found myself just sitting in contemplation after I finished one. For a lot of them, I had a “what did I just read?” feeling. It was so refreshing. The people of San Encanto were flawed and real. I will be thinking about this book for a long time. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to try a book that’s out there and makes them think.

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