The short-story form suits Gale’s ability to zoom in on the smallest nuances of a relationship. In the title story of this collection a father frets that long years of breadwinning have separated him from his children. His youngest son has become mysterious to him, but a call from the school means that he must tackle the impossible subject of sex. There’s more generational misunderstanding in the magnificently witty Cookery, when the only gay member of a family uncovers a certain power through the art of cooking.

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