Until now I've enjoyed Ellen Gilchrist's short story collection. I wonder if her writing has changed or my taste. The characters in Acts of God are involved in natural and other accidents and disasters. The are generally self-involved and self-serving even when volunteering. Is it on purpose? Is Gilchrist making a statement about Hurricane Katrina and other volunteers' motives and behaviors? It doesn't feel deliberate, but I can't tell for sure.
The stories are simple and relatively plotless. I don't need a lot of action, but there does have to be a little conflict, right? Something a character has to come to terms with?
The one story that amused me is "The Dogs," which is comprised of a series of increasingly aggressive letters between neighbors and their attorneys on the subject of the new arrivals to the block's three day-barking dogs.
Check out the two Library of Congress Subject Headings assigned:
Determination (Personality trait) > Fiction.
Life change events > Fiction.