Shout Her Lovely Name
Shout Her Lovely Name by Natalie Serber is a collection of short stories that delve into the complex nature of the mother/daughter relationship. These stories are very raw and real and while they are short stories they still manage to draw you in.
The first of the stories was my favorite and then the next ones were linked until the end where, in the final story, we are introduced to new characters. I think the novel would have worked better had it maybe gone back and linked to the very first story instead of introducing new ones. It made the stories seem more disjointed somehow.
Back to the first story though. It is about a young girl suffering with an eating disorder and it tells of the struggle the mother has with trying to understand the disorder while trying to do what’s best for her daughter. It was a very emotional story and surprisingly for a short story, extremely effective in engaging the reader.
The next set of short stories center around Sally and her daughter Ruby and then on to Ruby’s daughter Nora. Ruby herself came from a dysfunctional family and despite her best efforts I think that the way she brought up Nora was dysfunctional at best as well. Nora had no choice in life but to grow up fast and take things as they came because that’s how life was. I think these stories were effective in showing how the dysfunction spirals down into future generations.
I can’t say this collection is a favorite of mine only because it seemed so disjointed to me. All of the stories should have connected to each other or they all should have been separate. With all the stories on Ruby and Nora it almost seemed like a short novel instead. Anyhow, despite not being a lover of short stories in the first place I enjoyed this one enough to finish it and as Shout Her Lovely Name was the debut effort from the this author I would be willing to give her next book a try as well. I think those who really enjoy short stories and reflecting on them may find that they get more out of this novel than I did.