Women in the Grove offers nine surprising, impossible-to-put-down stories about lives filled with loneliness, love, humor, grace, and mortality. The women are black, white, immigrants, faculty wives; they are in rehab and in high school, and each is filled with the imperative to go on living. In story after story Peterson presents the humanity of each of her characters even as they are compelled to make impossible choices-sometimes disastrous ones-about how they will spend the rest of their days. Theirs is an entirely fresh and unexpected brand of heroism.
AIDS and HIV are the threads that bind this collection together. But rather than death, this wonderful book explodes with life.--Roy Parvin, author of In the Snow Forest"It's been a long time since I read a collection as strong, stirring, and surprising as Women in the Grove. Each story is tied in some way to AIDS-but thrillingly the true adventure here is the strength of the human heart. Paula Peterson is a dazzling writer."--Marcie Hershman, author of Safe in America and Speak to Me: Grief, Love and What Endures
"There is a sweet, sad surprise in the best of these stories, and a sense that just behind the chaos of the moment, if we listen, we can hear the old songs being sung. Paula Peterson has strong instincts and she trusts them. Women in the Grove is a smart, confident collection."--Sven Birkerts, author of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age
"Paula Peterson's stories remind us that we are equal parts despair and hope, confusion and faith, fragility and strength, that even the interrupted life possesses the capacity for grace."--Sabina Murray, author of A Carnivore's Inquiry
"Paula W. Peterson's wonderful debut collection, Women in the Grove, is about wonder and sorrow and amazing grace."--Sandra Scofield, Dallas Morning News