The Let Go by Jerry Gabriel (reviewed by Robert Boucheron)

JMWW

GabrielThe Let Go

stories by Jerry Gabriel

Queen’s Ferry Press

2015, 278 pages

paperback, $16.95


Jerry Gabriel’s first collection, Drowned Boy, was Sarabande Book’s Mary McCarthy Prize in Fiction in 2010,  and his second collection, The Let Go, from Queens Ferry Press, continues in the vein of intriguing characters and bleak, mid-Western landscapes. The seven long stories are set in and around Columbus, Ohio, and lack quotation marks, creating distance a dreamy quality that often is juxtaposed against first-person narration.

The first story, “The Visitors,” is a grim tale of illegal trapping and sheltering fugitives from justice in 1972. We see everything through the eyes of a girl named Camille, as though watching a documentary: “Years later she pieced all of this back together the way you might a dream after waking with just a shard in your mind.” Camille’s father lost a brother in Vietnam, and his ongoing grief somehow…

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