A National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist 2021
The stories in Julia MacDonnell’s first collection, The Topography of Hidden Stories create a shining tapestry of women’s lives in the late 20th and the early 21st centuries. Her characters, among them women trapped in a pious patriarchy that has yet to loosen its control of women’s lives, grapple with doubt and disquiet in their search for love and connection. However difficult their situations, they confront experience with sharp eyes, ironic wit, and a sense of their own historical matrix.
MacDonnell’s writing is frequently elegant, full of vivid metaphors…and descriptive language. The plots are both familiar and unpredictable, drawing readers in while challenging their preconceptions…. A strong collection of stories connected by deep Irish American roots.
Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer:
The Topography of Hidden Stories holds many hidden gems…Dissimilar, evocative, and compelling, these snapshots freeze pivotal moments in time. They will captivate readers looking for literary examples of women trapped by circumstance and fate, their choices, their commitments to family, and their illusions and realities about the world and their place in it.
Readers seeking stories of growth and change and women’s evolving lives will find The Topography of Hidden Stories hard-hitting and thought-provokingly unexpected in its diversity and impact.
Indie Reader, Stephani Hren:
Julia MacDonnell …can cut to the quick of a character with a single sentence, or …stretch her exploration through an entire story…There’s an element of yearning to MacDonnell’s writing that makes her stories utterly entrancing and the characters, conflicts, and relationships that she’s crafted are deeply insightful.
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