Leah Greenblatt
January 12, 2011 AT 05:00 AM EST

Perfect Lives

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Polly Samson
publisher
Virago UK
genre
Short Stories, Fiction

We gave it an B+

Samson, author of the acclaimed 1999 story collection Lying in Bed (she is also the wife, coincidentally, of Pink Floyd?s David Gilmour), mines the thoroughly imperfect lives of some dozen denizens of a British seaside town in Perfect Lives, a graceful, melancholy series of interlinking vignettes. Her characters — stymied housewives and aging artists? muses, pianists and peevish teens — search for connection and redemption, even as the mysteries of human (and in one case, feline) interaction often confound them. One wishes, at times, for more narrative reward, but Samson?s dreamy, evocative prose quietly offers its own. B+

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