Half Wild: Stories, Robin MacArthur, 2016 

What a moving, touching, beautifully written, and sad book this is—a first collection of stories by a Marlboro, Vermont writer.  Halfway through the 11 stories I became frustrated that they were all the same—-lives constricted into double-wides, drinking, dead end jobs, failed love affairs and marriages, sickness and death in one woman and the next woman, family and the next family.  But then, the people of Silver Creek and Round Mountain near Nelson (read Vernon), became real, human, deserving of sympathy and rounded out, detailed characters.  Any book that makes me cry, deserves a thumbs up, and the final story where Hannah returns to her hippie mother’s falling down house and overgrown fields to care for her when the latter is diagnosed with breast cancer certainly met that criterion.  A beautiful and powerful first collection of stories!