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Stay Up With Me review

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THE LIVES OF OTHERS Author Tom Barbash's short story collection is full of gripping tales of heartbreak and secrecy

Stay Up With Me

Current Status:
In Season
Tom Barbash
Ecco Press
Short Stories

We gave it an A-

Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the thread that binds stories in a collection together, but in the case of Stay Up With Me, it’s enough to say that each story is very, very good. For the most part, Barbash seems drawn to characters — male and female, young and old — who are reeling from freshly broken families or relationships: In ”The Break,” a successful author realizes she’s becoming an object of pity to her college-age son; in ”Howling at the Moon,” a boy struggles to find his place among his older, sophisticated step-siblings. Reading this collection cover to cover is akin to following strangers home and staying with them just long enough to glimpse their most devastating secrets. A-