There is an uncanny pleasure associated with reading outdoors, and Liz Colville’s breezy collection of short fiction squarely aims to stir up these feelings. Picking up Cover Story, one assumes sand may already be pinched between its 100-ish pages.
Salty calves and heated cheeks aside, Colville puts forth an observant, sometimes affecting debut, captured from the perspective of a pinhole camera. Shorter pieces like “Your Number” are quick thought experiments while “Why Not” and “Thanksgiving” take a little more time to unravel.
There’s a palpable sense of homecoming threaded between each narrative slice. “Jesus Loves You” makes a case for those almost-romances puttering around one’s hometown. “Bull & Bear” reads more like a cautionary tale, but in the same nostalgic vein.
Colville’s characters occasionally toy with the concept fame and the “bitch-goddess” success. Thankfully these episodes come across as rumination rather than bragging.
It helps that each piece is punctuated a photo of dogs and/or mailboxes taken by New Yorker Colin Clark. Absolutely finishable in one beach sitting. (This weekend may be your last chance!)