Polesso’s writing is brisk and fresh, and she captures the bleak human comedy of the myriad ways we mess up when it comes to matters of the heart. Her women often have a hefty sense of self-loathing, and a drily pained view of the world.
But Polesso can be sweet too. She offers windows into the private worlds created by long-term lovers; Marila Wakes Up, about an elderly couple still navigating how to show affection, is especially touching. Occasionally, however, the form becomes a little too cute in Polesso’s hands: she’s fond of tying stories off with a sentimental moment, like a neat bow.