Booklist review for Kiss Me Someone

After several novels, Shepard (The Celestials, 2013) offers her first short-story collection. Her mostly female characters run the gamut from the quintessential “mean girl” cliques in “Popular Girls” to the woman, married for 58 years to a man now suffering from dementia, who is “worn out by the gap between what she’d hoped for and what she’d gotten.” Each character, including the Chinese American girl forced by her self-obsessed mother to spend a summer with her grandmother in Szechuan, and the young woman suffering six miscarriages, only to lose the seventh baby a mere eight days before her due date, earns our sympathy or at least our empathy. Shepard is so perceptive, we feel as if we are part of the scene ourselves, such as when the mother of the stillborn baby develops the pictures she took just after her birth, watching in the darkroom as her daughter seems to come to life. These stories, and the characters that inhabit them, are so vivid, they will surely stay with readers for a good long while.

— Deborah Donovan for Booklist