The fictional town of Liverwood’s main employer is the potash mine that seems to arc over the town and everything people do. With a novel-like persistence to detail, Trettwer’s stories observe how the townspeople thread their way through the thorn-fields of their relationships, which are complicated by their addictions and obsessions and by the numbing constancy of their lives. In the background the mine looms large, its four-rotor boring machines rumble deep under the earth, while six kilometers away, Liverwood town life embraces their rhythm. In assembling Trettwer’s links between stories, we witness elimination of the romanticism often associated with small-town simplicity, and see the exposure of the unhappiness, corruption, and the exploitation that drive the town’s human affairs. The stories disclose the fears of those whom the mine has orphaned, like Lourdes whose life forward was always fraught with uncertainty that had to be met with bravado; the stories describe all the hard-drinking and the uncertain young men like Dillon, Darryl, and Blake, or the young women driven by lust that leads to unwanted pregnancies. In Thorn-Field small-town life is anything but idyllic. Rather it becomes a collage of human foibles and peoples’ dangerous vulnerabilities.