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Revealing Relationships and Truth
Date of Review: 
Published Work: 
Nina Sankovitch
Read All Day

November 20, 2009

Forgetting English, short stories by Midge Raymond, are unsettling and tightly-recorded revelations about relationships, exploring and dissecting the connections between siblings, spouses, and friends. Perhaps the most disturbing relationship Raymond probes, then reveals, is the link within: the relationship each person has with their internal selves. We are multiples: who we were as a child, an adolescent, and now; who we think we will become; who we want to be; and the one we fear we actually have become. And within that multiplicity of connections, there is pain, fear, and sorrow, and, occasionally, hope.

Using taut language, straightforward plots that give a sudden twist, and unflinching characterization, Raymond brings us face to face with people once sure of themselves, now unsure; once standing on solid ground, now they are rocked out of complacency or dormancy of their desires, and brought back to life, hard and fast. They are no longer secure, but they are more alive than before; they are no longer somnolent but wakefulness has a price: to be awake is painful. No happy endings here but there is potential for something better -- a fully engaged life.

Per FTC rules, the book reviewed here was a review copy supplied by the publisher, Eastern Washington University Press.