It Really From Spain?
By Joan Wickersham
Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95, 208 pages
Going into this I thought each story would take place in Spain, or have a strong Spanish connection. Maybe even the same love story told from many points of view, one that takes place in Spain. Instead what I got was a collection of stories that have little to do with Spain. Some ranging from brief mention of Spanish towns, but most just a quick mention of a news story from Spain. A few stories just have the line “…and the news from Spain.” Frankly the stories are all generally the same, from a mostly first person perspective; though the person can change within the story. Most are around people who are in their middle years, past the prime of their life. Most stories deal with a longing, an unrequited love, a forgotten opportunity. Something that was lost long ago, and can never be regained. I am not seeing the variations that well, they all seem really similar. Variations would have worked if they were more different from each other. After a while they kind of blend in with one another. Even the story within a story is just a bit confusing on how that works. Joan Wickersham has written better books than this.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter