Black Cherries

A lovely little book/novel/collection of short stories from Grace Stone Coates, the mysterious Montana writer who blipped onto the radar for a few years before sinking into forgottenness. Born in 1881, she spent most of her life in a small ranching community in Montana, and wrote her stories between 1927 and 1934. These are tightly written farm tales from the perspective of a six year old girl withstanding pinches from her older sister and trying to decode the cryptic commands of her mother. The main complaint between her parents seems to be that her mother has a few children die in childbirth, so she’s not fulfilling her duty. Great, light writing that gets at the joy of childhood, frolicking in the yard and poking at things with sticks.