In this wry collection, Baroness Melody Von Smith explores our need for a place to call home, either literally or figuratively, and how this need is directly tied to our identity.
In "The Ocean doesn't Want Me Today", it is a physical place–Downeast Maine–that provides solace for the young woman contending with her mother's suicide by learning to be a lobsterman. In "The Snows of Jake Manjaro," it is Jake's all-consuming vocation as a war journalist that defines, preserves, and ultimately consumes him. "Yes, This is A Fine Promotion," (adapted from a stage play of the same name) features a young man who meets himself on a subway train in Chicago, while in "The High Price of the Wild Truth," a beach bum slowly transforms into his once-famous television character, a hired vigilante killer.
These stories–blunt, funny, and deceptively simple–showcase the Baroness's knack of capturing the wonderful ridiculousness of being human. Her characters are unforgettable, her realities fantastic, and her dialogue both crackling and crackerjack. All this, woven with a gentle, quirky satire and an odd optimism, makes for a wild ride with a satisfying splashdown.