Glass Houses—book review

Glass Houses and other stories, by Karen Phillips

Each story in this collection is a piece of sea glass: a tiny part of a much bigger story, hard edges worn away, polished and immediately recognisable as precious.

There are fourteen stories, mostly about family relationships and all very kiwi in place and culture, related by someone in their later years. In every story life has thrown up a glitch: dementia of a loved one, death of a child, a son travelling in a danger zone and out of touch, observations in a supermarket queue. I met Karen Phillips last night and asked her about her characters, who often seem to be peripheral to the main story going past at a faster clip and she agreed that she sees and wonders about the people on the edges.

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