Monday, June 17, 2013

Break Any Woman Down: Review

Break Any Woman Down by Dana Johnson is a modern classic.  Winner of the 2001 Flannery O'Connor Award for short fiction, these stories are authentic and honest.  Sometimes honest in the most painful of ways, but all the better for it.  Johnson easily captures the voices of black women of all ages--from the earliest days of elementary school to the older woman sitting on her porch and reminiscing about her child- and young adulthood.  These stories are raw and emotional and will strike a chord with anyone who can sympathize with what it's like to struggle to find your place in the world or to navigate the rocky roads of relationship.

I find it more difficult to review short story collections.  I feel like I ought to give a brief write-up on each story--but it's sometimes difficult to do that without  giving the plots away.  Let me just say that these are finely crafted stories and well worth the read.  My favorites are the title story and "Mouthful of Sorrow."  The characters are strong and dynamic.  Four stars for a terrific collection.

Challenges: 150 Plus Reading Challenge, 52 Books in 52 Weeks, Adam's TBR Challenge, Back to the Classics, Monthly Mix-up Mania, Mount TBR Challenge, Off the Shelf, Outdo Yourself, A-Z Reading Challenge, Embarrassment of Riches

1 comment:

Julie said...

I have done up a couple of reviews for short story collections - I've sometimes listed the titles and a VERY brief synopsis of what the story involves, then, like you, I list the ones that I like best and then the ones I liked least. Thanks for the review; I'm heading over to Goodreads to put this one on my wishlist.