The Merry Spinster aside, I’m not a huge short story person. I like something I can dive into that develops over time and establishes characters to come back to, etc. So Sour Heart was probably not going to knock it out of the park for me. I don’t appreciate short stories because I just don’t know what it is I’m meant to be appreciating – what in it I should be looking for. And looking back, I’m not really sure what I read.
Full disclosure – this is another one of those times where I’ve read multiple books in the intervening period, so I also don’t recall way too much of the book. I’m knocking this review out now before I forget even more.
These stories do share a common theme and I think a common character (said common character gets two stories, so look for her to come back). All of the characters are young girls, roughly age 9 or 10, living in New York, born to Chinese immigrants. They are old enough to understand their cultural heritage, and too young to fully digest so much of the world around them. I had a very tough time with the second story, which has some weirdly awful sexual themes, like, wtf are kids DOING, and I think I part my gut churning response to that story put me off the whole book. Again, I don’t really do short stories, I don’t feel comfortable passing good or bad judgement on the collection, but it isn’t something I personally will recommend or read again.