Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Mother Who Stayed

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases.
After falling in love with Vanishing and Other Stories as well as Both Ways Is The Only Way I Want It, I've been trying to bring more short stories into my life. One collection I am very much looking forward to is The Mother Who Stayed: Stories by Laura Furman, which particularly reminds me of Vanishing because of the connection of a common theme between the stories, even if they are about different characters. I haven't read any of Furman's writing before but the book has easily caught my interest from its description, and I really hope it has the subtle beauty I've come to adore.
In nine strikingly perceptive stories set miles and decades apart, Laura Furman mines the intricate, elusive lives of mothers and daughters—and of women who long for someone to nurture. Meet Rachel, a young girl desperate for her mother’s unbridled attention, knowing that soon she’ll have to face the world alone; Marian, a celebrated novelist who betrays the one person willing to take care of her as she is dying—her unclaimed “daughter”; and Dinah, a childless widow uplifted by the abandoned, century-old diaries of Mary Ann, a mother of eleven.

The Mother Who Stayed is an homage to the timeless, primal bond between mother and child and a testament that the relationships we can’t define can be just as poignant, memorable, and inspiring as those determined by blood. Tender and insightful, Furman’s stories also bravely confront darker realities of separation and regret, death and infidelity—even murder. Her vividly imagined characters and chiseled prose close the gap between generations of women as they share their wisdom almost in chorus: Although our lives will end, we must cherish the sanctity of each day and say, as did Mary Ann ages ago, “I done what I could.” 
The Mother Who Stayed is going to be released February 1st, 2011 by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster. 

How do you feel about short story collections where the stories all share a theme? Do you have any others to recommend? What are you Waiting on this Wednesday?


  1. The theme collections are the ONLY ones I enjoy...this one sounds fabulous.

    Joyce Carol Oates does a lot of these theme-related collections; hers are pretty dark.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Here's mine:

    (click my name)

  2. "The Mother Who Stayed is going to be released February 1st, 2010"

    You do mean 2011, don't you?

  3. This sounds interesting! Great pick. My WoW is at Coffee Table Press

  4. I don't read a lot of short stories either but this does sound good. If you get a chance stop by my blog and I have a contest going on too. Have fun reading!
    Joy at Books and Life

  5. I've only read a couple of themed collections of stories. One I did enjoy was Olive Kitteridge.

  6. The Storm Before Atlanta
    By Karen Schwabach
    Publication date: December 28, 2010

    At a time when most people have grown weary of the war between the states, two young children are desperate to find their way to the battlefields. Jeremy DeGroot wants nothing more than to join a troop as a drummer boy. For Dulcie, a runaway slave, freedom means she must head directly toward the fighting in the hopes that she'll become "contraband," that is, property of the Union troops. Both Jeremy and Dulcie find a place with the 107th New York Volunteer Regiment and even start to forge a friendship. But all that is threatened when they keep crossing paths with the mysterious Charlie, a young Confederate soldier, who may look like the enemy but feels more like a friend.


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