I was born and raised in Florida so this book has been on my radar since I saw publicity for it! It’s not a novel but a collection of short stories that all feature Florida as a character in some way. What I love is that it’s not the Florida of Disney and sunsets, but the real Florida – with self-destructive hurricanes, animals of all sorts, and the characters unique to this state.

My favorite stories were “Above and Below,” in which a grad student loses her university funding and learns first-hand about homelessness and desperation. The tent cities were sadly accurate.

In “Yport,” a mother drags her two young sons to France to research Guy de Maupassant, hoping that this research will calm her feelings of uncertainty and dissatisfaction with her mundane Florida life. These are not stories with happy endings but they are an accurate portrayal of life in Florida.