A collection of sparkling award-winning stories from Maggie Shipstead, epic storyteller and astonishing chronicler of the daring and the damaged. Diving into eclectic and vivid settings, from an Olympic village to a deathbed in Paris to a Pacific atoll, and illuminating a cast of unforgettable characters, Shipstead traverses the ordinary and extraordinary with cunning, compassion, and wit.
Meet the silent cowgirl and horse wrangler escaping an ugly home life, only to fall into a decade-long triangle of unrequited love; a male novelist who is just reckoning with his own pretentiousness as his debut novel goes to print; a honeymoon couple's time in the hills of Romania builds into a moment of shattering tragedy. In the title story, a famous child actress breaks away from a religious cult, as she tells - with brittle candour - her tale of childhood damage and the dark side of fame. Exuding both tenderness and bite, Shipstead exposes complicated truths in this dazzling collection sealing her reputation as an astonishingly versatile master of fiction.