Kathy Handley’s readers enter her debut collection and discover rich and unique pictures of longing and disappointment in broad landscapes from California to Boston to Ireland. The stories span decades. They are raw and real and not an imitation of reality but a portrait of it.
A country girl, abused by her husband, learns to tread lightly as she finds refuge in the birch trees and the starkly lit eyes of night creatures. Set in the fifties, a woman’s affair with her husband ends as he lights a Chesterfield and abruptly fires her. An unlikely match, a mixed-race man and a spoiled rich girl, bump into each other and quickly learn of similar losses. In the title story, a naïve black girl journeys with her boyfriend to California, experiences the loss of her baby on the way and then him, and then she discovers a symbol of revenge in the form of a red juggling ball.
Rendered in an honest voice, Kathy Handley’s style is very detailed and ultra-personal, including tiny little things that might not seem to make a difference but that add to the understanding of the characters and their struggles, in essence tangential but not distracting, instead adding a whole other layer of depth and insight into the human psyche.
About the author:
Kathy Handley, a Grub Street member, writes fiction of all lengths. Her debut collection of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry will be followed by her first novel, Birds of Paradise.