Daneet Steffens
February 02, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Summer Before the Summer of Love

Current Status
In Season
Marly Swick
Short Stories, Fiction

We gave it an A-

The striking element in this collection of short fiction, The Summer Before the Summer of Love, is Marly Swick’s ability to tell practically anybody’s story with a familiarity that renders the characters both sad and funny as they adjust to what life throws at them. Her subjects come in all shapes and sizes: a career-minded producer who has just taken a young surrogate mother into her home; a teenage girl coming to terms with her parents’ divorce at the height of the Beatles era; a dad in midlife crisis on an acid trip in Berkeley; a young man taking his 47-year-old mother for an abortion. Each piece is a little flight of reality, a slight glimpse into the hearts and minds of people on the road to understanding themselves, who may or may not ever get there.

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