This book marks the debut of an extraordinary new voice in fiction. In giving us the odd and wonderful characters in this collection, Ellen Slezak invites us into a world made up of passion plays, tomato patches, hard-pressed single mothers, unemployed men, and elderly women and men who are at once deeply loving and deeply harsh, displaying small kindnesses and, at times, acts of stunning cruelty. Linked by place--the neighborhoods of Detroit--these stories create a world that feels both familiar and strange. In a writing style reminiscent of such masters of the short story as Lorrie Moore and Charles Baxter, Slezak writes of this working-class community, giving voice to the particular daily rituals of Polish Catholicism; of a young woman's ambivalent relationship with her grandmother; of the hesitation of a woman whose pregnancy becomes the basis for an unexpected bond with her grandfather; of the unlikely friendship between a lonely young boy and an adult woman who lives across the street. With a poignancy and an eye for the distinguishing feature that can make a character come alive on the page, Slezak's remarkable first book signals the arrival of an exciting new talent.