Short story specialist Lois Braun returns with a new collection, The Penance Drummer.With her remarkable eye for detail, Braun keenly observes the subtle dynamics and complexities of family relationships.In "Assassins" a teenage girl copes with her three quarrelsome aunts and confronts the serious illness of her uncle as she learns that the world around her is always changing. In "Goldie" a listless young married woman fixates on the woman, and her property, to spark her own life. "In The Half-Town Folly", an artless big city man accompanies his ne'er-do-well brother and a shifty ex-con companion as they attempt the perfect crime when what he really dreams about is his own camper and a cross-country escape. The title story reveals how a long-married couple achieve an epiphany, and a renewal, at a bus stop in Victoria. With The Penance Drummer, Lois Braun begins in rural Manitoba and opens up a whole world.