Ev­ery Body Has a Story

Bev­erly Gol­o­gorsky

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - JESSIE HORNESS

Hay­mar­ket Books (JUNE) Soft­cover $15.95 (320pp) 978-1-60846-907-9

Set against the back­drop of the eco­nomic crash, Ev­ery Body Has a Story is an ex­plo­ration of how our iden­ti­ties evolve when un­der im­mense pres­sure. Fol­low­ing Lena, her fam­ily, and their close friends through em­ploy­ment in­se­cu­rity and the even­tual loss of their home, Bev­erly Gol­o­gorsky’s novel puts a hu­man face on the col­lec­tive cri­sis of 2008.

Lena, Zack, and their two ado­les­cent chil­dren live a com­fort­able, work­ing-class life. Along with their friends Dory and Stu, they have worked hard to build their Amer­i­can dream. Com­pan­ions since their child­hood in the projects, the cou­ples are more kin than friends. As eco­nomic stresses af­fect them all, macro­cos­mic strains man­i­fest on an in­ti­mate, in­ter­per­sonal level.

Spend­ing time in­side the head of each char­ac­ter, the book is a poignant ex­plo­ration of the di­verse ways that hu­man be­ings re­spond to pres­sure. The play­ers present var­i­ous per­spec­tives on sub­jects from the in­ter­sec­tion of mas­culin­ity and money to the ex­pe­ri­ences of a gen­er­a­tion com­ing of age in an era of eco­nomic in­sta­bil­ity.

This is, glo­ri­ously, not an “in­spi­ra­tional” tale of un­be­liev­able grace un­der pres­sure. Rather, it’s a re­lat­able novel full of char­ac­ters who don’t al­ways be­have well. This is both the book’s tri­umph and its oc­ca­sional down­fall; there are stretches where it’s easy to lose sym­pa­thy for the char­ac­ters, as they are less than no­ble in re­sponse to the slings and ar­rows of out­ra­geous for­tune.

How­ever, the char­ac­ters’ fal­li­bil­ity makes the even­tual cli­max and re­sult­ing char­ac­ter growth even more res­o­nant. The novel of­fers re­demp­tion for its char­ac­ters with­out re­gard­ing them as any­thing other than hu­man in the face of great pain.

Ev­ery Body Has a Story holds a re­minder that we all carry the com­plex­i­ties of our unique sto­ries. Of­fer­ing in­sight into hu­man­ity and its rough edges, this book will not dis­ap­point.

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