“Love has many faces,” Francesca Marciano reminds us at the end of the next-to-last of these nine stunning new stories. Her characters, mostly women of various ages, are all experiencing endings. How each of them moves on — and they do so simply and quietly — makes for one of the most consistently moving collections of stories in a long while.
Plots unfold in a small vacation village in Greece or the Venice Film Festival or a Starbucks in New York City or an exclusive retreat in India or a remote conclave in Africa. A young girl will fall in love or a woman will return to her roots. A discontent wife on vacation and an elderly woman on the African plains will each discover the impermanence of the lives they have felt secure in.
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Steven Whitton is a professor of English at Jacksonville State University.