"Triumph" - Meet gutsy gals, mothers-on-the-edge and anti-heroines in Lizzie Harwood's interconnected short stories!

Book review by K.S.R. Burns

In these fourteen short stories, Lizzie Harwood’s skillful and beautiful prose guides you to a country that is, surprisingly, seldom visited in literature—the country of women’s minds and lives as they really exist today. Hers is a penetrating, close-up, and cleanly honest perspective that may make some readers uncomfortable—because these women are not eager to please us. They are not looking for good husbands, necessarily, or even good jobs, and their friends are too often unreliable. They are on their own, battling unseen forces, and you worry for them, maybe more than they worry for themselves.

All that would be excitement and challenge enough. But then Harwood throws in setting. Glorious setting to spirit us from New Zealand to India to Rome to Amsterdam to Paris to Canada, each locale stunningly real and as diamond-sharp as the woman or girl in it. Harwood accomplishes this feat with ease and authority, filling you with nostalgia for countries you may have never even been to. Story collections are often bound together by consistent geography. Harwood’s is united by the freshness and precision of its globe-trotting diversity.

You’ll want to take your time with these passionate and complex tales. And when you come to the last one, you may well want to return to the first, because this is literature that reveals new gems upon re-reading.

Book giveaway! Click here to leave a short comment for the chance to win a signed copy of Triumph: Collected Stories. The drawing will be May 3, 2015.

If you can't wait to start reading Triumph, Amazon.com and Amazon.uk are offering it on a special Kindle promotion for $0.99 until April 28. Better hurry!

K.S.R. Burns is a Seattle author, whose latest book, "Rules for the Perpetual Diet", is a suspenseful, moving, and at times hilarious tale about love, loss, motherhood, Paris, food, and finding yourself. Burns lived and worked in France for 3 years. She currently writes a weekly jobs advice column for “The Seattle Times".