where the writers are
Women Up On Blocks
Date of Review: 
Published Work: 
Julia Bohanna
The Short Review

The female protagonists in this collection are prisoners in multifarious ways: trapped by the weight of marriage to errant/insensitive men, the burden of childcare, an addiction or the limitations of a disabled body. Men may not emerge from these stories commanding much respect but the women are drawn by a wise, experienced and compassionate hand. Their flaws are exposed too – characterization and voice are extremely strong elements and each neat psychological portrait holds the reader powerfully. Women on blocks, as one character tells us, refers to derelict cars in the trailer parks of America, where frustrated and ultimately failed lives go to die. Cars play quite a role in some of the stories, literal or metaphorical – apt perhaps because of their ability to facilitate escape or, in the case of one poor soul in Wild, Wild Horses, to cause accidents that alter lives permanently.