This collection’s title story, “The World to Come,” selected for “Best American Short Stories 2013,” is told in diary form by Nellie, a housewife in rural New York in 1856. She records life with her near-stoic husband, their neighbors, and especially with her friend Tallie, revealing “emotions or fears, our greatest joys or most piercing sorrows.” Her diary begins in January. There’s deep snow and bitter cold, with ice even inside the farmhouse. Their daughter, also named Nellie, died at 2 1/2. Nellie, the mother, has heard reports that men have been killing their wives, so she becomes suspicious when Tallie leaves unexpectedly.
You can read my review of Jim shepard’s collection The World to Come in the Sunday, February 26, edition of the News & Observer, by clicking the image below.
You can buy Jim Shepard’s collection The World to Come at Barnes and Noble.