Hard to Say

Following are recent reviews of Hard to Say:

From Yennie Cheung at The Hipster’s Book Club:

“The glimpses into everyday life are quick in Ethel Rohan’s Hard to Say, a collection of interrelated flash fiction portraying one girl’s Irish upbringing. In 15 semi-autobiographical tales of alcoholism and rebellion, sickness and loss, Rohan paints a gorgeous but heartrending picture of one family’s struggle to overcome its own destruction—and all in 55 square pages of text. Rarely, if ever, is a family saga told so concisely. Here, that just means Rohan breaks your heart faster.”

You can read the full review here.

From Amanda Kimmerly at Fringe Magazine:

“However, I think in this case, because the content is so similar, it resembles a long-winded narrative, using “and then this happened, and this…and this, and this, and this,” technique, with each “this” being a new story.”

You can read the full review here.

From Laura Ellen Scott at PLUMB:

“Everyone knows that Ethel Rohan is one of the rescuers of domestic realism, snatching the notion of family from the gums of academy hacks to re-energize it with her own lyric volatility. Her latest collection, Hard to Say, is a vampiric stunner of a book, very dark and soulful.”

You can read the full review here.

From Steve Himmer at Goodreads:

“So while the longer arc that emerges through these linked stories delivers the familiar escape to consciousness, what’s more exciting is the escape to narrative consciousness and the way writer, character, and text take control of the story through what they keep to themselves. That creates a provocative tension between readerly demands for more (a perhaps prurient, voyeuristic expectation to “see” the worst as it happens) and the refusal of the narrator to be defined or limited by those unwritten worst moments.”

You can read the full review here.

My deep thanks to Yennie, Amanda, Laura, and Steve for taking the time to read and review Hard to Say. I’m honored.

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