Signs and Wonders by Alix Ohlin
The characters that inhabit Alix Ohlin’s second collection of short stories find that love, no matter the vintage or degree, can simply end. Whether they move from solitude to companionship or in the opposite direction, these people discover that changing their situation provides a new clarity.In these 16 tales, the author covers topics including divorce, infidelity and accidental murder. In the title story, a couple’s amicable parting is postponed by an accident that makes the wife realise her love for her husband is bound up with her everyday familiarity with him. Though Ohlin sometimes nudges the reader toward the bigger meaning behind the stories, she employs a straightforward tone and resists the urge to stuff every paragraph with literary artifice; this allows the reader to welcome the epiphanies without eye rolls. Signs and Wonders gives a point-blank assessment of how lost one can feel, while implying that the authentic version of who one was or will become is always out there.