In this collection of beautifully crafted short stories, Ronna Wineberg deals with unfulfilled longings, deeply-held secrets, the effects on aging on the mind and the body. For example, in “The Coin Collector,” a widow, whose husband hid the coins he collected in a hamper, encounters a coin dealer who had a similar fate of hiding from the Nazis inside a hamper during the war. In “The Lapse,” a religious Jew who is married to a “cultural” Jew tries to come to terms with the deep, unbridgeable gap between them. In “The Search,” a woman seeks out her real father, only to find that he is a complete disappointment. And in “The Visitor,” a woman who must face her own children as she ages realizes that by watching her body age, she is only a visitor to this world, that “there are no easy ways to go through tough parts of life.”
Each of Wineberg’s stories sparkles, with some thought, conclusion, or moral about life and its meaning. In one story, a character remarks, “the way to understand life is to keep moving forward.” This is a beautiful collection, with characters who do not necessarily experience fairy tale endings.