characters á eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ Natalie SypoltS twice about itMy mother always had wallpaper "we d replace it every springthe roadsides are "d replace it every springthe roadsides are wooded branches nearly scraping my car on both sidesOnly the roadway is light goldenThe community where most of the stories take place is called Warm and Sypolt s character makes the distinction that while fire is hot ashes are warm and the narrator s first boyfriend calls Warm a trap and says if he doesn t get out now he
willWhile the experiences and growing and realizations come mostly to the women in the stories the focus is often on as in in Get Up June where the narrator s father a man of addictions first drinks too much then for a while makes money trying out drugs for a drug company His final addiction is perhaps predictably but profoundly appropriate is religion The narrator s mother at the end says I hope you will not forget the good parts of your daddytake those good parts of him and the good parts of me and try to push out the bad parts That is perhaps emblematic of what all the stories are about A lot of bad stuff but Sypolt pushes through to the good as best she can without ndermining the truthOne of my favorite stories is Home Visit which takes on a clash between the Establishment as it were a teacher doing her visits to all the families of her students and the student s father The family lives in a trailer of course and the teacher tries to hide even from herself her contempt for people who live in the trailers She knows trailers too what it would be like inside long rooms that always looked a little cramped a little too full of stuffSinks leak into the towel cabinets The Making Of Henri Higgins underneathCeilings grow round brown circles Of course the trailer she is describing is the one she grewp in and she finishes her home visit by falling apart in a horribly embarrassing waySeveral of the late stories are about damage to men In Wanting a Baby a woman pregnant with her dead husband s child visits his family and feels conflicting emotions about them and her place in a traditional family Other stories are about men damaged by war mentally and physically One has lost his arm in the Middle East and seems to have lost his center as well One part of another extended rooted family goes looking for a white deer to kill and in the process fills the yard with dead animalsMany of the stories are told in the present tense but that last story with the dead animals Stalking the White Deer takes an interesting long retrospective view The narrator is speaking from old age or near it and it is about why she and her husband have stayed together That staying together for better or for worse isnever willWhile the experiences and growing and realizations come mostly to the women in the stories the focus is often on
A Theme We Don T Write About As Much Astheme we don t write about as much as spectacular break ps and violenceSypolt s collection is about a deep loyalty to people and a place Her approach is open eyed and complex but for all that no less loyal I m going to try my best but I m not sure that I can actually put into words. Ex reuirements of family in all its formsYet tragedy and violence challenge these nassuming lives A teenage boy is drawn to his sister’s husband an EMT searching the lake for a body A brother a family and a community fail to confront the implications of a missing girl A pregnant widow spends Thanksgiving with her deceased husband?. I love this collection of short stories The writing sucked me in from the beginning All of the stories were so niue in their own way A really great story collection that paints a accurate picture of life in West Virginia than what s given from the stereotypes that get lazily tossed around all the time The stories are relatively short but Sypolt still packs a lot of emotional depth into her characters making it feel a bit like you ve just read a novel and kept the important bits A strong voice in claiming West Virginia s right to
Belong Among What Peopleamong what people southern literature The characters in this book felt so familiar to me that I couldn t stop feeling People who value nature community and one another A wonderful weave of characters confronting or realizing the fear of themselves Sypolt s debut short story collection is an excellent primer for how to build striking portraits of Appalachian life through fiction These characters all of which circulate in small town West Virginia are haunted and driven by the past and necessary hope for the future I found each story compelling especially when lives and conflicts carried across stories and characters For Those Teaching Appalachian Or Southern teaching Appalachian or Southern courses consider adopting this highly relevant collection I tried to read slowly and savor these amazing stories but I couldn t stop reading sometimes flipping back to re read a new favorite Natalie Sypolt s writing is poetic and haunting sincere and generous As the blurb on the cover from Wiley Cash says This is an important book by an important writer I couldn t agree My favorites are Flaming Jesus and The Sound of Holding Your Breath title story but I can t stop thinking about so many of the other stories Diving and My Brothers and Me won t get out of my head I feel lucky to have read this collection right when I needed it most Five plus plus stars I can t believe that this is the author s first collection so masterful is this writing and cannot wait to read from her Dark and raw If you want to read something Appalachian start here But Sypolt s writing and her characters are niversally engrossing The cover claims it s an important book by an important writer I agree I don t think I ve ever cared about people in an average of 10 pages or less than I did in this collection Wonderful book This collection of short stories focuses on family disruption but especially men and women who begin with passion and end with missed connections and sometimes violent disconnections The "stories are set mostly in the northern appalachian "are set mostly in the northern Appalachian among people who often live in those much maligned mobile homes Sypolt however has no patience with and cuts no slack for readers who don t identify with all people She opens the second story Flaming Jesus what a great title by laying out her landscape This is a place where no one cares if you live in a trailer No one even think. The residents of The Sound of Holding Your Breath could be neighbors sharing the same familiar landscapes of twenty first century Appalachia lake and forest bridge and church cemetery and garden diner and hair salon They could be your neighbors average workaday each struggling with secrets and losses entrenched in navigating the compl.
of Holding Your was everything I wanted Winesburg Ohio to be While there isn t a central character in The Sound of Holding Your Breath and the stories all take place in different towns they could have easily all taken place in the same community Where Winesburg left me depressed TSOHYB left me with hope and a feeling that things could still get betterI received a copy of this book from WVU Press which in no way influenced my review or opinions Full review can be found at Combing Through the Pages Natalie Sypolt s The Sound of Holding Your Breath is a masterfully written collection of stories entrenched in small town West Virginia The characters are real and vivid I felt like I knew them as than fictional They are lost struggling coming to grips often somber and confused but always human and purely West Virginian The tone of the stories reminded me a lot of Dan Chaon that sense of bleakness that permeates even the most basic of scenes Unlike Chaon though I felt plifted after reading many of these despite the fact they often didn t end on high notes There are small town preachers and hucksters with dark secrets and The Sabbides Secret Baby ulterior motives A kindergarten teacher struggles with her monotonous life Two personal favorites were My Brothers and Me and the title piece In the first a family has difficulty coping with thenspeakable crime of a brother something all too common here and likely everywhere else The title piece shows how childhood trauma can hang around and haunt the victim causing things later in life that are just as harmful That depiction of the human nature is what makes these stories so great Highly recommended readin. ?s family Siblings grapple with the death of their sister in law at the hands of their brother And in the title story the shame of rape ruptures than a decade laterAccidents and deaths cons and cover Favourite Daughter ups abuse and returning veterans Natalie Sypolt’s characters wrestle with who they are during the most trying situations of their live.Sound Of Holding Your