What She Was Saying is a compilation of over thirty compelling and provocative human-interest tales, many of which made their first appearances in various literary publications. Others have either won prestigious awards or were nominated or finalists. Among the winning picks, "A Wave Rushed Over" won the 2007 US Catholic Fiction Prize while "For Real" won in that same year the Sport Literature Association Fiction Award. Maddox's fiction short stories highlight the awkward aspects of life. Removing facades, Maddox's dead-honest approach to writing realistic scenarios portrays themes such as dysfunctional situations, death, and tragedies. Each story captures the human condition, which has the potential of prodding readers to pause in reflection well beyond the completion of her book.
Maddox's candid writing style is nothing less than visceral. Without having to incorporate strong language, Maddox has a gift for recapitulating the uncomfortable nitty gritty of life's circumstances as if it was common everyday language. Aside from lighter stories that focus on Jackie Robinson ("Rachel Isum Robinson: Snatches and Excerpts" and "Watching 42 at the Dollar Matinee with My Mother"), for example, the bulk of what she addresses are atypical of themes—ones that the majority of people would rather not discuss. Great examples can be found in "Soldier Girl" regarding the media accounts (2003-2004) on Jessica Lynch and Lynndie England; "Woman Killed at Six Flags New Orleans" (based on a real 2003 incident); a very short piece titled "Mom Learns of Son's Death Via Voice Mail" (again based on a real 2003 incident); and "Woman's First Skydive Turns Out to Be Her Last" (based on 2005 incident). A definite read for those who are looking for an honest portrayal of life.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review