Sunday, October 30, 2022

Book Review: "Nobody Gets Out Alive" by Leigh Newman

Leigh Newman's debut collection, Nobody Gets Out Alive, is a collection of stories featuring women at their toughest, dealing with the wilds of life.

I always love discovering books thanks to Bookstagram friends. This story collection, longlisted for the National Book Award, was recommended by two friends whose reading taste is so admirable, so I figured, how could I lose?

The collection takes place in Alaska, one of my favorite settings for books, and the stories follow women dealing not only with the wildlife and the sometimes-unforgiving climate, but also with the challenges and pain associated with love, loss, and relationships. Some stories are set in the present, some in the not-too-distant past, and one is even set in the early 1900s.

Newman’s characters are tough, independent, smart, and sensitive, which makes reading about them really appealing. A few of the stories feature the same characters at different points of their lives.

As with any story collection, I loved some more than others. My favorites included “Howl Palace,” about an older woman dealing with financial challenges and the mortality of those she loves; the title story, about an engaged couple dealing with the advances of others; and “Alcan: An Oral History,” which follows five different women outrunning their problems.

Let’s hear it for book recs from friends!!

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