Polly Samson "Perfect Lives" review

As I sometimes write brief book reviews for WBQ magazine, or squish thoughts onto bookseller recommends cards, I thought that perhaps I’d occasionally post some reviews under 100 words here & on twitter. First up is a gorgeous new short story collection by Polly Samson.
Samson’s sumptuous prose brings a piano tuner, an artist, a pianist, a betrayed wife, (or two), mothers, daughters, sons, lovers, and husbands – all inhabitants of a seaside town – to life. The characters swim in and out of each other’s stories and we go beneath their public faces to reveal secret hurts and hopes. There is humour amongst sadness, and many witty dénouements. Just when it all feels a little too slight Samson delivers devastating knowledge with the lightest of touches in The Rose Before the Vine. This is a collection to take time over and savour. 

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