By Lorrie Moore; published 2019
Adrienne holds a friend’s baby and kills it in a freak accident. The whole of the novella is an incredibly subtle and spare exploration of her guilt and attempted recovery. She has a shotgun wedding and travels to Italy with her new husband, where she meets an eclectic cast of artists and academics who both bore and intrigue her, and tries to find her place in the world again. If she’s not a mother, if she can’t be trusted to even hold a baby, then she wonders who she is as a woman. But a woman can be many things besides a mother. Her frailty and determination are endearing. Four stars.