Falling in love, falling out of love, knowing a lover all too well or not at all, seeing one’s stark humanity (for better or worse) through the other’s eyes. Love is a battlefield littered with heartbreak, pain, and sorrow, but also sowed with seeds of new life. The seven stories in this collection illuminate in different ways the complex nature of man-woman relationships and the life-altering effects of intimacy.
Venere, Venere – Married to Mars, a shameless womanizer, Norma meets a strange young man the day of her daughter’s wedding who helps her see herself in a different light.
The Battlefield – A woman’s loyalty toward her conflicted husband and unpredictable sister is put to the test. Caught between two people she loves dearly, but who have no use for each other, Bonniah must make the most difficult decision of her life.
Helen’s Pendant – Driven to near despair by the death of his beloved Helen, a bitter young man gradually finds consolation in a younger woman’s silent and unrequited longing for him.
Fort Chance Showdown – Civilian workers at a U.S. Army base face the imminent closure of their workplace, and a young logistician finds himself spying on a colleague at the request of his coworker’s wife.
Painting Olivia Tully – After a previous fling gone bad, a rising young star in a government agency gets back together with Olivia, an older, less accomplished coworker and single mom, who opens his eyes to a new way of seeing.
Where Are You, Ricardo? – An elderly man has been his disabled wife’s caretaker for fifteen years. At a pond in the senior community in which they live, Joseph bares his soul to a swan and fantasizes about being with a woman he encountered one day in the food market.
What the Plate Said – A frustrated working class immigrant father finds that he is incapable of communicating with his American-born teen-aged son and fast-talking daughters about the things he feels matter most. A violent outburst changes everything.