Liz Prato has a talent for diving into the core of a scene, a character, a situation. “Minor league lessons” opens with “My grandmother floored the accelerator on the golf cart.” In one sentence we have the setting (maybe a golf club, maybe a home for retirees?) the character (a crazy/angry/independent grandmother?) and situation (is she driving away or toward something that she wants or doesn’t want to see?)

Liz Prato drives the reader to the heart of each character. In “riding to the shore” Ginny’s beauty, silliness and love of life shines immediately-Ginny stood on the counter of the diner decorated in tinfoil. . . She even made a tinfoil tiara, perched on her red wig. . . Ginny clasped a ketchup bottle. . . It’s such an honor to be nominated. What a shimmering character! Or in “baby’s on fire”-I couldn’t even get my ass hired at Starbucks.

But what strikes me the most is that every story is so different in every way, not just the scenes, the characters and the situations, but the journey through inertia, sorrow, satisfaction, depression, accomplishment, surprise, irony, acceptance, hope.

This book is a trove of treasures!