Boy, did I love this book. This is a collection of stand-alone stories, but they all circle around the characters and their connections, sometimes tenuous, to one another. In the opening story, single mother Reyna dutifully visits her boyfriend, Boyd, in prison on a minor offense. When he gets out, he's immediately enticed back into a life of minor crime. Reyna adores him, but she's uncomfortably aware that if the minor crime goes bad, it could easily affect her and her young son, so she refuses to be a part of it. It's a decision that has significant ramifications on many people around her.
From there, the story spreads out to include Reyna's eccentric aunt, Kiki, who by all accounts has lived an interesting, unusual life, a life that also has long-reaching effects.
The book wanders from New York to Berlin to Turkey, but its threads are as intricately woven as the threads on the (beautiful) rug on the cover. (And yes, elaborate rugs play a role in the book beyond being a metaphor.) Joan Silber is such an amazing writer; in lesser hands, this would have been a mess of strained connections and eye-rolling coincidences, but her light, sure touch makes all of them feel real and unforced. Even better, I never found a set of characters I wasn't interested in spending time with. Some are more likable and sympathetic than others, but all were interesting and so very human.
I feel like Silber is sort of an underrated author, but I've loved everything I've read that she's written, and can hardly wait for the next one.