These thirteen stories are glimpses from a moving train into lit parlors, dinettes, bedrooms and dens. Though the rider sees only fragments, he can intuit essentials from posture, from motion, and see the space that characters inhabit. Think of Robison as the engineer, blowing the whistle, calling the stops and starts; invisible when you want to ask her why we're stalled here in the middle of nowhere, between stations, jobs, relationships and decisions. Like Ann Beattie, Robison shunts the reader off the mainline to a limbo where everyone waits for something to begin or end. As narrative, the stories are inconclusive; as commentaries on the way Americans live now, they're absolute and final.