This is a collection of short stories about women with messy lives. They are not heroic enough to occupy novels, but they are far too interesting and real to be without their own fictional lives. These stories are, by turn—or all at once—darkly comic, tragic, outrageous, and insidiously provocative. They explore the connections and conflicts between love and money, youth and aging and beauty, mothers and their children, between the demands our culture makes of women—and the prices it extracts from them. Come to these tales prepared to laugh, to cry, to recognize women you know.