The grisly death of the hermit outsider in a tight-knit neighborhood prompts a young mom to yearn for solitude. A man wrestles with regrets from a 30-year-old affair while his wife hovers toward death in the ICU. An older, childless woman aches to rescue the seemingly mistreated child she observes in the grocery store. And a girl's desire to avoid the party her father dragged her to nearly gets her abducted. Told with restraint and deep compassion against the backdrop of Virginia back streets and small towns, Jody Hobbs Hesler's debut collection shines with its portraits of longing, disconnection, and the ache for renewal and redemption that comes from our own frailties.