The women in Shomer's ten stories inhabit different realms of time and place, and range in age from late girlhood to late in life. However, they share a determination to face squarely their life changes and challenges. Far from succumbing to powerlessness, they take chances, remove themselves from their comfort zones, and become tourists, looking from the outside in -- at themselves.
In "The Other Mother," Sheila, a middle-aged southerner from a proper background, enamored of "the exquisite moments of pleasure that money bought," is forced to abandon her privileged life for one of lonely poverty when her faithless husband reveals a terrible family secret. In the title story, Frieda faces her husband's retirement: "After four months of solid togetherness…Frieda daydreamed that Milt had dropped dead" -- only to find a renewed hunger for life after an unpromising bus trip. In "Rapture," Janet believes she is dying, but the doctors say no; she proves them wrong in a euphoric dive. And in "Sweethearts," Garland, one week shy of her high school graduation, enthralled by the feelings of power bestowed by her first, tragically misguided affair, learns a painful lesson on the flip side of love.
Shomer's stories are insightful and empathetic, holding a mirror up to the forces that shape women's lives at all stages, and the innate strength that they possess to tackle them. (Summer 2007 Selection)