STARRED REVIEW
March 20, 2019

Joy

By Erin McGraw
Review by

If you are in search of a story collection that feels as transformative and satisfying as a novel, then look no further than Erin McGraw’s Joy. The 53 stories that make up this book are very short, each one barely lasting more than a couple of pages, narrated by 53 different characters who share a glimpse into their state of mind.

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If you are in search of a story collection that feels as transformative and satisfying as a novel, then look no further than Erin McGraw’s Joy. The 53 stories that make up this book are very short, each one barely lasting more than a couple of pages, narrated by 53 different characters who share a glimpse into their state of mind.

However, what the stories lack in length, they more than make up in their profundity and emotion. In fact, it is exactly their shortness that makes the reader use their imagination to fill in the gaps and draw conclusions that may or may not be the same for all. A wide variety of characters—ranging from a pet sitter to a wedding gown saleswoman to a dental office assistant to an anxious first-time mom to a first-time murderer—provide a fantastic variety of voices, as well as different perspectives of life’s biggest pursuit: happiness. Some have it, some don’t, and yet they all have a good story to tell, each tale both mundane and profound.

What makes Joy truly special is how easily McGraw gets in your head. The stories resonate long after they end, each time making the reader wonder, “Would I have handled it differently?”

A terrific pick for a book club, Joy is bound to impress.

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Joy

Joy

By Erin McGraw
Counterpoint
ISBN 9781640092082

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