You Have a Friend in 10A – Maggie Shipstead

Published By: Random House
Pages: 288
Released On: 26/05/2022

A collection of sparkling award-winning stories from Maggie Shipstead, epic storyteller and astonishing chronicler of the daring and the damaged. Diving into eclectic and vivid settings, from an Olympic village to a deathbed in Paris to a Pacific atoll, and illuminating a cast of unforgettable characters, Shipstead traverses the ordinary and extraordinary with cunning, compassion and wit.

Meet the silent cowgirl and horse wrangler escaping an ugly home life, only to fall into a decade-long triangle of unrequited love; a male novelist who is just reckoning with his own pretentiousness as his debut novel goes to print; a honeymoon couple’s time in the hills of Romania builds into a moment of shattering tragedy. In the title story, a famous child actress breaks away from a religious cult, as she tells – with brittle candour – her tale of childhood damage and the dark side of fame.


Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

If anyone can convert me to liking short stories, then surely Maggie Shipstead can. And she kind of achieved it. I’m not saying I’m going to rush out and stock up on short stories but I won’t completely disregard them off hand.

Unsurprisingly, some I enjoyed more than others, just like a enjoy some novels more than others, but she’s provided a real mixed bag.

What I think Maggie excels at is character writing and drawing everything she can from every sentence, every plot point, no matter how small or simple. There’s so much feeling and such a sense of person, time and place. The stories are introspective and thought provoking, full of emotion and questions.

They’re all divers stories but centre around relationships – romance, friendship, family, strangers, ancestors, and our relationship to the world and our surroundings.

I think Maggie is a fascinating writer who you can always count on for interesting and entertaining reads full of heart.

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