Book Review

Barbara the Slut and Other People

Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes
Release: August 2016
Publisher: Riverhead
Goodreads

♥♥♥♥

Lauren Holmes, BARBARA THE SLUT AND OTHER PEOPLEA fresh, honest, and darkly funny debut collection about family, friends, and lovers, and the flaws that make us most human.

Fearless, candid, and incredibly funny, Lauren Holmes is a newcomer who writes like a master. She tackles eros and intimacy with a deceptively light touch, a keen awareness of how their nervous systems tangle and sometimes short-circuit, and a genius for revealing our most vulnerable, spirited selves.

In “Desert Hearts,” a woman takes a job selling sex toys in San Francisco rather than embark on the law career she pursued only for the sake of her father. In “Pearl and the Swiss Guy Fall in Love,” a woman realizes she much prefers the company of her pit bull and herself to the neurotic foreign fling who won t decamp from her apartment. In “How Am I Supposed to Talk to You?” a daughter hauls a suitcase of lingerie to Mexico for her flighty, estranged mother to resell there, wondering whether her personal mission to come out is worth the same effort. And in “Barbara the Slut,” a young woman with an autistic brother, a Princeton acceptance letter, and a love of sex navigates her high school’s toxic, slut-shaming culture with open eyes.

In Barbara the Slut, we meet a variety of characters. The woman who wants to tell her mother she’s gay, the dog that’s happy to go home with new people, the woman who wishes her dog would trust men more so she date, the man who doesn’t remember sleeping with his friend, just a variety of people.

I don’t read many short stories, they’re hard for me to digest as there is so little story to hook me. I sometimes miss the point of the story. Okay, more often than not do I miss the moral of the story, so that’s why this review is a bit late. I’m still in the dark for the meaning of some of these stories but they’re still churning in my mind making little aha moments.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Barbara the Slut. It definitely surprised me. I didn’t expect some of the stories I read. Some I enjoyed, some confused me, but all in all, I enjoyed myself and that’s all I can really ask in anything I read.

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