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Toibin creates a series of interesting characters and situations in these short stories, all of which in some way touch upon the relationships between mothers and sons. There's a very Irish feel to most of them, and the reader is perfect. My only complaint is that the stories have no closure; they just STOP, at a seemingly random point. Several times I found myself wondering who a character was I hadn't heard mentioned before and what happened to the one I had just gotten invested in--only to realize I was in the next story. This may be avant garde or something, but I found it irritating after awhile.
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