I tried and tried to like Katherine Shonk's latest novel, but in the end I just couldn't. This pains me, since I liked her first book so much. I think she should write more short stories. I think she may have what I call a Maile Meloy Problem: a brilliant, merciless, sharp-eyed short story writer who just plain turns to a puddle of sappy, girly mush when she writes a novel. The short story allows objective distance in a way novels -- these novels anyway -- somehow don't.
Nonetheless, I wish Katherine Shonk all the success in the world and I hope from my tiny little perch I have not affected it.