When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories
Title: When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories
Author: Molly Ringwald
What the what? The Pretty in Pink girl? The Breakfast Club goody-two-shoes? Yep. I was skeptical, since I have read fiction by two other Hollywood actors and was severely underwhelmed. But I love short stories, and these didn’t disappoint. Ringwald is a talented writer with a flair for believable dialogue – often difficult to pull off well. The book centers around the aftermath of a husband’s infidelity, but it’s so much more. One favorite for me was “My Olivia,” a story about one mother’s struggle to accept her young son for who he truly is.
-Morgan at KDL’s Service Center
When it happens to you, you will be surprised. That thing they say about how you knew all the time, but just weren’t facing it? That might be the case, but nevertheless, there you will be.
Molly Ringwald mines the complexities of modern relationships in this gripping and nuanced collection of interlinked stories. Writing with a deep compassion for human imperfection, Ringwald follows a Los Angeles family and their friends and neighbors while they negotiate the hazardous terrain of everyday life—revealing the deceptions, heartbreak, and vulnerability familiar to us all.
In “The Harvest Moon,” a stay-at-home mom grapples with age, infertility, and an increasingly distant husband. In “Ursa Minor,” a former children’s television star tries to rebuild his life after being hospitalized for “exhaustion.” An elderly woman mourns the loss of her husband and her estranged relationship with her daughter in “The Little One.” In “My Olivia,” a single mother finds untapped reserves of strength to protect her flamboyant six-year-old son who wishes only to wear dresses and be addressed as Olivia. And in the devastating title story, a betrayed wife chronicles her pain and alienation, leading to an eviscerating denouement.
As the lives of these characters converge and diverge in unexpected ways, Ringwald reveals a startling eye for the universality of loss, love, and the search for connection. An unflinching yet poignant examination of the intricacies of the human heart, When It Happens to You is an auspicious literary debut.