This collection of stories spans several decades: from a summer in 1950 at the Jersey Shore in which the conflicts of an extended family are powerfully portrayed, to the present when it seems that the fate of three generations hang precariously on the outcome of a single ballet performance. On all fronts Joann Kobin is a master of subtlety and manages to find great poignancy and power in the finely observed moments when family members connect or fail to connect. Her fictions embrace and augment one another, at dance recitals, on the streets of Florence, the beaches of Cape Cod, at a college conference. The Stedmans drift apart and then come together, sometimes with grace, more often with uncertainty, determined to survive the heartaches of love.
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As an earlier story (“What I Learned from Clara”) shows, Harriet loves to dance and isn’t one to avoid a flirtation, not even when it leads to an outright affair while Phillip is away on business, after he’s moved with wife and kids far from his parents and started fresh.| Read Full Review of Woman Made Of Sand
The grimly stoic Philip is best revealed in the title story, in which he builds a sand sculpture of a woman bearing a suspicious resemblance to Harriet, after he has remarried following the couple's divorce.| Read Full Review of Woman Made Of Sand