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Margot LiveseyThe skillful deployment of history and geography has much to do with the success of Esther Stories, but all would be in vain were it not for Orner's mastery of language. He moves, seemingly effortlessly, between plain speech and more elevated diction, between short, flat sentences and sinuous, long ones. Best of all, Orner is a true democrat. Most of his characters struggle to hang onto even one of the fundamental rights life, love, the pursuit of happiness but every character, young or old, well-to-do or broke, maimed or whole, is worthy of the author's insight and eloquence.