I was a little nervous at first, reading their review of From Here:
Her stories are like a never ending parade of subtle suffering. In them, she forces her characters to live with their loneliness. She traps them in abusive relationships and broken homes. She smacks them in the face with unrequited love. She punishes the fathers - they are dead or dying, withering away from cancer. Or they are just a bunch of deadbeats, walking away from their pregnant wives and drinking themselves silly. And she punishes the animals too. As with any other author, dogs, rabbits, birds, beware. Your lives are not safe in her hands!
But I am glad they still linger, even after the unexpected stab:
Each story has a strong sense of place and Jen douses her characters will their own unique voice. The collection reads quickly but the stories have a tendency to linger. They remain in the periphery, haunting the sidelines. They are tender and hesitant. Michalski seems reluctant to allow them to let go, and so they ache within you long after their stories are over.
To read more, go here.