Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of hearing Jill McCorkle read from her new book at our local bookstore, Malaprop’s. Hot off the press, Going Away Shoes is a collection of eleven short stories that you must read. I am sure you will love these stories because they’re all about us – women.
Never mind that over the years, her fiction has been selected four times by The New York Times Book Review for its Notable Books of the Year list.
And never mind that I personally had the chance to work with her in 2005 when I was at the Sewanee Writer’s Conference where I experienced first-hand her southern twang and wit. Jill’s characterswill seduce you because they are spirited women, just like us, who fall in and out of love, use tupperware and pyrex, live with the ex-wife’s picture hanging in the house, take care of an aging mother, and drove a Karmin Ghia in high school.
With each story you won’t know whether to laugh or cry as you experience the drama of her character’s everyday life. And, as women over fifty, we all know our every day life with family and friends is fraught with enough drama to fill a full-length novel/mini-series, let alone 11 short stories. Jill knows that too. So, whether her character gets her boobs adjusted based on her husband’s preference, gets divorced, or thinks there should be an “escape clause” in marriage, she has our full attention. At the end of the book, you might find yourself saying, “How dare she write about all our secrets.” And, like me, you will agree that it’s okay because McCorkle’s voice is authentic – full of tenderness, humor, and compassion, and that’s all we can ask for.