“Milk Bread Beer Ice” is a road trip shared by a husband and wife who no longer communicate through meaningful dialogue. Fifty-year-old “Hazel” is forced to enter an alien workplace after the sudden death of her husband. In “Today Is the Day,” the village women gather together for their annual ritual of planting blisterlilies. And “Family Secrets” travels to DeKalb, Illinois, and the First World War, as the narrator searches for a missing year in her mother’s life . . . and unearths a surprising connection to Ernest Hemingway.
From a group of musicians who discover they share more than classical “Chemistry” to an unhappily married couple who may get a second chance, this remarkable collection, like the ageless orange fish of the title story, is filled with the wonder and magic of everyday life.