The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons
LJ Reviews 2014 November #1
"We are sitting at a table in a restaurant. The four of us. You. Me. The woman with whom you had an affair. Her boyfriend." So opens the title story of Slomski's 2014 Iowa Short Fiction Award winner, and it's so apt, cutting, and funny that most folks will want to read on. In the remaining stories, all told in brisk yet sympathetic language, Slomski plumbs loneliness and misconnection, as in "Correction," ending with a woman who sits drinking to "block out the mistake I made in leaving him." VERDICT Promising work about contemporary life.[Page 76]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2014 August #4
The characters in this debut story collection from Slomski, winner of the 2014 Iowa Short Fiction Award, may have wandered out of an Edward Hopper painting for all their quiet, lonely dignity. The titular lovers are merely a distraction, sitting one table over from the narrator, who is calmly trying to hold it together through an uncomfortable dinner with her husband and another couple. A woman breaks up with her boyfriend after attending an art gallery opening in "Correction." In "Octaves," an old man is reminded of domestic squabbles at his corner store. Though civility pervades in the 15 stories, some of which are only a page or two in length, all this composure has a dampening effect on the characters. In "Neighbors," we peek behind the curtains to find smart people disagreeing reasonably—Finn, a set designer, is comforted that "he had planned every detail," and only upset because eventually "he'd have to take the set apart, dismantling his flawless, unmarred world." The same could be said for Slomski: she finds a way to get strong and interesting characters in a room together, but it feels like a bit more oxygen should be let in. (Oct.)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC