...[an] immensely enjoyable collection ... Lively’s, then, is the voice of experience, and there is a grandmotherly tone to her stories, occasionally expressing impatience with the younger generation and their blank disbelief at the thought of ageing ... Her tone is not elegiac but something far sharper, and she does not twinkle: Lively is not that kind of grandmother. She is funny ... Lively is wary of high emotion, but only because she knows its power. In these perfectly pitched circumnavigations of relationships, passion and sex lie unseen but felt everywhere beneath the surface.
...[a] superb collection ... Her stories embrace 'plotless and pointless' real life, but then construct layers of insight ... tension is central to all of these stories; in various ways, they explore the essential unknowability of everyone around us. Lively appears to subscribe to Henry James’s memorable assessment: 'Never say you know the last word about any human heart.' The same might well be said of Lively herself.
...[a] sharp-eyed and cherishable new collection ... When she writes about the phases of women’s lives, with all the expectations and limitations they strain against from childhood to old age, she knows whereof she speaks.