If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This is a deeply moving human experience. I look forward to Black's next collection.
Robin Black claims that it took her ten years to complete the eight stories in this collection. Her careful crafstmanship shows, and I suspect that life during those ten years also gave her further insights into the depths of the human heart. Some of her characters are one-of-a-kinders, others are more familiar, but all of them share a common sense of loss. A father taking his blind daughter to meet the guide dog who will help her in her journey forth to a new life at college. A woman--a mother whose mentally handicapped son has had to be institutionalized--stricken with terminal cancer, addressing on paper the new neighbor who plans to build a fence that will make it impossible to open the car door at a distance from the house that she is able to walk. A portrait artist, long divorced, learning about love from the wife of a client fading into Alzheimer's. A young girl trying desperately to believe that her eccentric friend has the formula for making dreams come true. A mother faced with two simultaneous challenges, ungrounded electricity surging through the water pipes and her father's suicide. A woman trying to hide a recent stroke from her family, which includes her aging 80-year old husband and a married daughter who has embarked on an affair. In two different stories, two women unable to let go of post-divorce anger and grief, one clinging to a male friend who longs to be more, the other to her twin brother. An estranged father visiting his daughter, now married, in another country after a 14-year separation, trying to reconcile his past and his future. A woman reliving the death of her brother through her son's loss of a close friend.These are the kind of stories that surprise you with moments of recognition and understanding. Yes, it's true, as other have written here, that they aren't likely to leave you laughing. This isn't a book for those looking for romance, fantasy, or even action. But while they may not initially seem optimistic, few of these stories are down and out depressing. If anything, they speak to our will to endure, to survive, to change, to hope. Black has the ability to provoke an exquisite emotion with a carefully wrought image, a refrain, a moment of silence. Reading