Every story is so different that there is something for everyone here. "Balance" is a story about a bored and (we think) boring orthotics sculptor -- until we find that he has fallen in love with the feet of one of his distant patients, and has done something about it. "This Summer's House" describes a Vancouver Island family that rents a new summer house each year for the central event, a great family get-together that reminds us of a modern version of Chekhov. "Over Here" is an innocent story told by a 10-year-old boy who tries to keep the secret that the girl next door is an Indian. "Damage Done by the Storm" shows us Ottawa picking up after a snowfall as the central character, a retired senator, tries to keep his word to his grandson by getting to an important event. "Galleries" has a Faulkner scholar and her photographer son touring Mississippi to learn about the writer, and learning about themselves. "Promise" shows what happens when a former high-school principal visits a former pupil twenty years on. "The Crossing" is a taut story of an "ordinary" woman's life exploding. "Inheritance" tells how a Vancouver Island couple learn that their uncle in Ottawa plans to leave everything to them, in what proves to be a mixed blessing. "Astonishing the Blind" has a Canadian pianist in Germany writing home to congratulate her parents on their wedding anniversary, only to reveal terrible secrets about two marriages -- and to reveal links between some of the stories. The geographic range is wide -- Australia, Germany, Ottawa, Edmonton, Mississippi and, as home base, the Vancouver Island logging and farming communities that feature inSpit Delaney's Islandand other books by Jack Hodgins.The range of characters is just as wide, and many of these people are unforgettably larger than life, while still being utterly believable. In summary, a terrific collection of stories that will delight readers and renew the Jack Hodgins debate about the comparative excellence of his novels and his short stories.