Knight's style is deceptively plainspoken, with low-key wit and a laconic precision that often ripens, as a story proceeds, into poignancy. One standout, "Jubilee," focuses on a middle-aged bourgeois cliché, a 50th-birthday bash at a grand hotel, but does so with such deftness and delicacy that the reader is ambushed, in the end, by mingled envy, pity, and empathy. But the centerpiece and triumph of the collection is its closing novella, Landfall, which tells with enormous finesse, speed, and concision, like a family saga in demi-glace reduction, the mingled stories of a shipyard-owning family—the widow of the paterfamilias, her daughter and two sons, the daughter's two daughters, one son's beloved dog—as a hurricane bears down on Mobile. From a distinguished Southern writer, a very fine collection capped by a masterful novella.
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