Review of Rising and Other Stories by Gale Massey

Rising and Other Stories by Gale Massey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Everything you’ve heard is true: Gale Massey’s characters are filled with desires, ambitions, misgivings, and the whole range of human emotions. They are people whose fates you need to know.

Massey’s figurative language is often stunning and powerful, contributing to each story’s plot, characterization, and emotional tone. The opening of “Racine,” for example, describes the inevitability of the story’s conflict and its stoic emotional tone with “The minutes gather at her feet, pooling there like water seeping through a crack below a door.”

This collection illuminates many of the dark corners of what it means to be a woman in a time and place where women are [still] at the mercy of woman-hating policies, whether those are governmental, individual, or family policies.

In artistic terms and in terms of human relevance, Massey’s stories deliver. The short form gives her characters and themes the right amount of space to entice and then surprise. Most of all, these intense short stories succeed as literary page-turners readers will find irresistible.

Thanks to NetGalley for an advance review copy of this short story collection.



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