You Think It, I’ll Say it by Curtis Sittenfeld, 4 1/2 Stars

Today is one of those dreamy weekend days where all I have planned all afternoon is to lie on a couch or bed with a book in hand and veg out. And (obviously) blog a bit. But mostly just hang out. I have nowhere to go, no deadlines to meet, and my only aspirations for tonight include a glass of wine and ribs on the grill.

Ahhhh….Now if only every day could be like this.

On this particularly utopian Sunday, I finished reading Curtin Sittenfeld’s newest book, a collection of short stories entitled, You Think It, I’ll Say It, which really kind of sums of Sittenfeld’s unique style of prose.

From the Publisher:

A suburban mother of two fantasizes about the downfall of an old friend whose wholesome lifestyle empire may or may not be built on a lie. A high-powered lawyer honeymooning with her husband is caught off guard by the appearance of the girl who tormented her in high school. A shy Ivy League student learns the truth about a classmate’s seemingly enviable life.

Curtis Sittenfeld has established a reputation as a sharp chronicler of the modern age who humanizes her subjects even as she skewers them. Now, with this first collection of short fiction, her “astonishing gift for creating characters that take up residence in readers’ heads” (The Washington Post) is showcased like never before. Throughout the ten stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It, Sittenfeld upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.

With moving insight and uncanny precision, Curtis Sittenfeld pinpoints the questionable decisions, missed connections, and sometimes extraordinary coincidences that make up a life. Indeed, she writes what we’re all thinking—if only we could express it with the wit of a master satirist, the storytelling gifts of an old-fashioned raconteur, and the vision of an American original.

My Review:

I have always loved Curtis Sittenfeld’s writing. Ever since I picked up her first book, Prep, back in 2005 (Was it REALLY that long ago?!) I’ve always found her writing to be playful and truthful. She never takes her characters or their quirks too seriously and she addresses the thoughts and scenarios that we all think about but maybe don’t talk about all that much.

Of course, her newest collection of stories, You Think It, I’ll Say It definitely stays true to her style. I don’t think I even realized it until I sat down to write this blog that the title is exactly what I love so much about her writing. This book is fresh, a bit taboo and always impeccably written.

There wasn’t a single story of the bunch that I didn’t enjoy reading and reflecting on. My favorites were A Prairie Wife–where the narrator laments on the hidden life of a fictional foodblog/farm life celebrity, and Volunteers Are Shining Stars–which focuses on a young volunteer at a women’s shelter who simply cannot stand a fellow volunteer. Both stories are so honest and so everyday and Sittenfeld does an amazing job of keeping them true to that while writing an entertaining story.

Pick this one up, it was a nice short and refreshing read. And really, what we can all love about a book of short stories is that even when you don’t have a whole delicious Sunday afternoon,  you can read and reflect on one morsel at a time.

Get your copy:

Indiebound

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