Jaws of Life: Stories by Laura Leigh Morris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If Scott McClanahan has a corner on certain areas of rural Appalachian West Virginia, then Laura Leigh Morris might have her own territory marked out in a neighboring small town. Here is the place an old woman starts a revolution against the company she sold her land to after they keep her up at night. Here is where a man has a relationship with the woman who drove through the window of his auto parts store. Children take on new responsibilities and inmates live on in legends.
The characters are the most memorable part, but I also found myself interested in the basic economic landscape that forms the major conflict for most of the stories. The transition from mining jobs to the shiny new promise of fracking jobs has not occurred and people are even less employed than they were before. Central West Virginia even has its own Aging Cervices employment office, which is relevant to a few of the stories in this collection. What does the future hold? Hopefully another collection of stories.
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