Music For Uninvited Guests

By Misha Bower (Cringles)

In her first collection of short stories, Misha Bower, a founding member of Toronto band Bruce Peninsula, offers the reader a series of emotionally complex visions rich with colloquial dialogue. Bower adopts a series of plainspoken voices to tell the tales of brothers, cousins and lovers, all of whom attempt to define themselves within a binary relationship (to the other brother, to a former lover, to a former self), though none seem sure of what, precisely, opposes them. This moral ambiguity suits the prose and Bower is able to pull out moments of great realism from the incertitude: sometimes funny, sometimes heart wrenching, sometimes both. Though not necessarily a shortcoming, the pieces can feel truncated or all too brief. Each one begins in medias res and ends, often, without clear resolve. That being said, the aforementioned moments of tender reality, of which there are plenty, are what make the stories worthwhile.

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