"Bomer’s second short-fiction collection differs from the first in virtuosity and subject matter. The girls and women featured in these narratives encounter cringe-worthy humiliation and/or appalling abuse. Several of the stories, set in the 1980s (complete with playlists), depict the lives of older teens and young women whose experiences with sex are physically or emotionally brutal. In the horrifying “Down the Alley,” two teens out on the town are given pot and taken for a ride by a group of older boys. “Outsiders,” set in an eastern boarding school, provides an honest picture of the divide between the middle-class newcomer and the rich girls whom she gravitates toward. “Inside Madeleine” is the heartbreaking—and erotic—description of the destruction caused when the only man who sees her realistically leaves a vulnerable woman. Fans of Baby and Other Stories (2010) and even more so of Bomer’s novel, Nine Months (2012), are the obvious audience for this new book. These stories appeal, however, to a broader audience of literary-fiction readers."
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