Populated by people harbouring fixations, these stories are powerful and controlled. A woman tries to woo a taxidermist with roadkill. Another revels in auras she sees rising from the tracks of wild animals while oblivious to her own abuse of cows. One character, resentful of the thrill experienced by her criminal boyfriend when committing a break-and-entry, rearranges the contents of a stranger's refrigerator. A woman, betrayed by her husband, offers freedom to her suicidal goldfish. A mushroom-gathering woman mistakes a one-eyed bear hunter as a romantic prospect.
With an acute ear and a facility for evocative prose frequently interspersed with off-kilter humour, Thornhill writes with a remarkable clarity and compassion. Wildlife figures strongly in this collection- not surprising to anyone familiar with Thronhill's children's books- but these are gritty, "desperately beautiful" stories of deftly-created people teetering on the edge, in this first collection of her short fiction for adults.