“Shaena Lambert’s stories are jubilant, ironic, bone-marrow intimate and hyper-vivid. Her characters are drawn with signature accuracy and exuberance; they are bold and unfaithful, zealous and brave, fearful and true. Oh, My Darling is fist-pump marvellous. Lambert will take your heart captive.”
-Lisa Moore, author of February
A love cry for the complexity of life, these compelling stories work to illuminate the exaltation and heartbreak of love, and the vagaries of family life.
Ten remarkable stories about contemporary life, family, children and love. They circle loosely around the love cry of the title story: the exaltation and heartbreak, the subtle acts of revenge and the moments of revelation that make up relationships.
The stories include a woman’s breast cancer who speaks to her in a mesmerizing and sadistic voice about her dysfunctional life; a couple who plan an environmental protest by placing the husband inside a cage in front of an aquarium; a woman who gets embroiled with a young drug dealer, as she tries to understand her son’s addiction a young boy who tries to deal with his father’s Nazi past on a Caribbean island; an old man who obsesses over the size of his coffin and whether he can be transported in it down his narrow apartment stairs; and a couple who uncover their secret fate at the Delphic Oracle in Greece.
Passionate and precise, these stories are infused with an uncommon originality. This is writing of the very first order by one of Canada’s best writers.
“Oh, My Darling is thunderstorm powerful, otherworldly, wickedly great. It lies beyond the range of merely astonishing. Shaena Lambert travels so deeply into the raw and beautiful reservoirs of humanity that it seems a marvel she ever made it back out. That she did is our most excellent fortune. Read this book. Read this book.”
-Rick Bass, author of The Watch and All the Land That Holds Us
“Exceptional stories. A joy to read. Lambert’s language and characters shine on every page.”
“Oh, My Darling delves unflinchingly into both the beauty and ugliness of humanity, and the ways we relate to one another. The author displays a skilful control of pace, creating just the right amount of tension. In all of these stories, Lambert pulls the reader in with deft and seamless prose, complex characters, insight into our often contradictory emotions, and the originality of her voice – a combination that results in an absorbing and vivid book.”
–Quill & Quire
“…exquisite prose and masterful story structure… Simply put, this volume’s good (superb, actually) and good for you… Lambert studied with Atwood and shares the same sophistication of narrative.”
–Winnipeg Free Press
“Private worlds laid open to scrutiny. What is most on display in all of the stories in Oh, My Darling is the succinct, explicit power of observation of the writer. There isn’t a discordant note anywhere.”
“Lambert offers her readers touchingly human tales about big subjects, told with beauty and dexterity.”
HarperCollins, Canada, September 2013
A Globe & Mail Best Book of 2013
CBC Bookie Award, for best short story collection in 2013
Longlisted for the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award