*** A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin

The linked stories in A Manual for Cleaning Women read with a strong autobiographical flavor. The title story is amazing, finely dissecting the complicated relationships between cleaning ladies and their employers. Others tell of her complicated life in multiple locale, fighting alcoholism and other addictions. Still others present mostly women trying to keep it all together but not quite managing to do that.

If you love short stories, this book is for you. If you do not love short stories (and I do not), pick up this book. The links between the stories make them into a fine long novel.


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