Rating: 3 / 5
Kate Walbert’s She Was Like That is a wide-ranging collection of funny and observant short stories centered around woman- and motherhood.
Thank you to Scribner for sending me a free copy of this book!
I find it extremely difficult and, more importantly, generally fruitless to attempt to summarize short story collections. While there is a central theme – womanhood -, each story is unique. If you’re interested, take the plunge!
Summarizing a short story collection is difficult, and reviewing one is possibly even more so. I also find it particularly difficult to recall the specifics of each short story, and thus, the book as a whole. Do I read short story collections too quickly? Very likely. Nonetheless, I can always remember how a book made me feel.
She Was Like That is an easily accessible collection of short stories, most of which have clear plots and meanings- something I find lacking, and detrimentally so, in many collections of short stories. The stories are contemporary, likable, and honest, dealing largely with the mundanities of everyday life for women, mothers, and daughters.
I tend to enjoy more straightforward short story collections – which this is. As I said, the plots and meanings of the stories are far more accessible and clear than many other collections I’ve read. That said, I only felt particularly moved and connected to about half the stories. The collection starts strong, peaks in the middle, and ends strong, leaving the rest of the stories by the wayside.
Don’t get me wrong – I did enjoy this collection. Each of Walbert’s stories was entertaining, honest, and I was easily able to identify with many of them. While I only connected with a handful, I enjoyed each. If you’re a fan of short stories with less complicated nuance but just as much depth, I do recommend this collection to you! I surely enjoyed my time reading it, although – admittedly – I probably rushed through it and should have sat with the stories longer and been more thoughtful as I read. If you pick this one up, take your time – not because it needs time to be contemplated, but because it should be savored and enjoyed.
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts on She Was Like That. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the collection in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!