I really wanted to have a list of amazing things to say about this short story collection. I really have enjoyed all of Danticat’s work that I’ve read thus far, but nothing really stood out to me in this one.
Unlike Roxane Gay’s Ayiti where I was caught up in almost every story, the stories in Everything Inside haven’t been memorable. “Sunrise, Sunset” and “Without Inspection” were, by far, the most emotional pieces in the book for me. They were also the only ones that stuck in my mind.
“Sunrise, Sunset” tackles a woman’s fading reality due to some form of dementia, and “Without Inspection” details the final moments of a man’s life after he falls from a building’s scaffolding. I held my breath while reading about a woman holding her infant grandson over a balcony because she thought he was a doll and wanted to prove that she could take care of it, and I kept hoping she wouldn’t drop him. I wondered how long it would take a man’s wife to find out he died on the job when his employer and coworkers didn’t know his real name. Both stories made me sad, but at least they made me feel something.
I love short stories. There’s something about a swift conclusion, even when the entire story isn’t played out, that is incredibly satisfying. That’s why I love writing them as well as reading them. This “review,” if you can call it that, is much shorter than usual, but I really don’t have much else to say about Everything Inside. Overall, I’m glad I read Danticat during Haitian Heritage Month because it made me feel a tiny bit more connected than usual to my Grandmother’s island.
Now, the question is… what shall I indulge in for summer? I feel guilty about buying new books when I need to invest in creating my own, but I really want to read something fun and entertaining, something… summer-ish… and I want it in paper form because ebooks are just not my thing (even though I have relied on ebooks from OverDrive lately). I’ll let you know what I sort out, but until then…