Bark: Stories

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Stagnating, deteriorating relationships. Divorcées struggling with the dating scene decades after they’d gracefully exited. Widows with teenage daughters (“Of course it did not matter what young people wore: they were already amazing looking, without really knowing it, which was also part of their beauty… The person who needed to be careful what she wore was me.”) Moore’s strength is her clear, powerful writing, flexed in this first book of short stories. The only story that seemed a bit untrimmed was Wings, the story of the punk rock singer who falls in with an elderly neighbor, cares for him and gets written into the will. Bizarro story was The Juniper Tree, where the narrator imagines that she gets to say a final farewell to her friend who died at the hospital. Debarking was my favorite of the lot, well-placed as the first story, following newly divorced Ira as he dates the gorgeous yet psychotic Zora.