By Marylee MacDonald Summertime Publications, Inc. Travel exposes us to ourselves. We visit other places to escape the everyday, or to put a problem in perspective. Stripped of the props of habit, our foibles and fears come to the fore as we interact with foreigners and navigate strange roads. Marylee MacDonald holds up a mirror of self-discovery for the varied and idiosyncratic characters in this magnificent collection of short stories. From Angela, a postal inspector, who left “an absolutely dead and vacant life” to vacation in Istanbul, where her married Turkish lover tries to part her from her money, possibly for charity, probably not, to Lana Buskirk, a single mom on holiday in Key West with Todd, her college student son, to Walter, who is disfigured by a birthmark, MacDonald introduces us to complex characters whose desire to escape comes up short when their innate behavior patterns lead them to tangle with strangers and travel companions. In this collection of stories, travel is a metaphor for life, as the characters bump up against each other in mutual incomprehension. It is so hard for us to live with one another, so terrible to be alone. Creating a unique and compelling story world in a limited number of pages is the challenge of the short story. In this book, each tale is remarkably original and brilliantly written. Marylee MacDonald links them with the theme of connection and aloneness, the yin and yang of the self, facing outwards to an often hostile world, nourished inwardly by the bonds of love and blood we share.