Picks and Pans Review: The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart
Whether fingering the raw emotions that arise out of missing a relative's funeral or celebrating a wry inner voice playfully named Grandma, Alice Walker (The Color Purple) writes thoughtful tales about making difficult choices—choices that often defy society's racial and sexual boundaries. In Heart, these stories form what she calls "a definite thread of having come out of a singular life."
That life (Walker's, one assumes) moves through stunning moments of discovery and betrayal from the '60s to now. The opening story, "To My Young Husband," explores the breakdown of an interracial marriage between a black woman writer and a Jewish civil rights lawyer. "Olive Oil" recounts a couple's tender rekindling of affection. And in "Blaze," a meditation on the fickle nature of love, Walker poses the question perhaps most on her mind: "Does anything ever turn out the way you expect it to?" (Random House, $23.95)
Bottom Line: Moving tales of hope and healing