Lisa Glatt’s collection entitled The Apple’s Bruise reads very quickly because the stories are less about plot and more about characterization. This is not to say they aren’t well plotted, rather the characters are so engrossing, so flawed, that they become the story.

The thing that connects these stories, these characters is that tender, shameful part inside of them, that damaged fruit, that bruise–and once they learn to embrace their shame that they begin to grow. Nowhere is this more perfectly explained than in the first story of the collection “Dirty Hannah Gets Hit by a Car”:

And instead of rising from that bench, shouting out or telling the lunch monitor, Hannah’s eyes shot around the room, hoping that no one else witnessed her surprise and humilitation. She picked up the apple from her napkin and without looking at it, took a big, violent bite, juice cascading down both sides of her mouth. She bit right into the apple’s bruise and chewed and chewed, pretending she loved it, pretending that soft brown spot was the very thing she was hungry for, the very thing she craved.

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