Half in Love: Stories by Maile Meloy
Half in Love: Stories by Maile Meloy (2003) is a collection of short stories with a common theme--people living lives of quiet desperation. The term depressing doesn't begin to cover the thoughts and feelings evoked in this reader by every single one of the fourteen stories in the collection.
Most of the stories are set in rural Montana, including my favorite, Ranch Girl, filled with a character experiencing the kind of self-sabotage I know all about from first-hand experience. You think she wants to escape her life as the ranch foreman's daughter, yet she does everything possible to keep herself from leaving her past.
The writing is decent enough to convey the points of the stories, though there aren't any great surprises in any of the stories. An overall sense of dread and doom permeates everything, leaving me unable to recommend the collection to most readers.
My overall personal rating of Half in Love: Stories is a C.