This was Lynna Williams’ first collection of stories; they are the evidence of her writing life that is left behind after she passed away a few years ago, dead of cancer just as she was reaching a point when she could retire. The stories are deeply affecting, all of them, so that one can relax with them, open up and allow the author’s sensibility to take one over; some, like “Personal Testimony,” are evidence of Lynna’s comic sense, which was a constant; others, like “Sole Custody” or “Things Not Seen,” cut to the bone where the feelings are richest. “Sole Custody” has always been the one that I remember best, the airplane journey of a women who, in the first sentence, reveals that she is on the way to steal her ex-husband’s child. The story takes one quiet step after another, to a moment of absolute heartache at the end. I knew Lynna as a friend and colleague for many years, and understood that there was a pain inside her that she could never shake, located somewhere between the sarcastic dismantling of camp meetings in “Personal Testimony” and the childlessness and loss of “Sole Custody.” It broke her heart that she could never manage a second book. But a lot of things broke her heart. She was one of the loveliest, most complicated, prickliest characters I have ever known, and I miss her very much. If you can find a copy of this book, you should read these stories and understand she was a master at this craft of writing. Not everybody wins the prize. Whatever it was that kept her from publishing more, we are poorer for the fact.