Shout Her Lovely Name

Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D

5 of 7
Shout Her Lovely Name
240 pages; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Some of the 11 stories in Natalie Serber's Shout Her Lovely Name stand on their own, but several are linked through Ruby—a character who appears as both a daughter and a mother. We first meet her as a college freshman returning home to find that while she may have matured during her time away, her bitter, sullen mother, Sally, has not changed. Jumping ahead a few years, Ruby, alone in a doctor's office, discovers she's pregnant by a man who "wouldn't even stay for breakfast"; she ends up raising her daughter, Nora, on her own, making the classic mistake of trying to be both parent and friend. Throughout, the bonds Sally, Ruby, and Nora create remain complex: They love one another fiercely, yet can't escape anger, regret, and loneliness. Call it fiction, but this collection is achingly true to life when it comes to the many ways mothers and daughters grow together and apart, over and over again.
— Abbe Wright