Book Review: Games & Rituals By Katherine Heiny


The games and rituals performed by Katherine Heiny’s characters range from mischievous and edgy to tenderly touching.

In “Damascus,” a mother fears her teenage son is making the same youthful mistakes she did, only to realize that he is wiser than she had understood. In “Twist and Shout,” Ericka’s elderly father mistakes his four-thousand-dollar hearing aid for a cashew. In “Turn Back, Turn Back,” a bedtime story coupled with a receipt for a Starbucks babyccino reveal a struggling actor’s deception. And in “561,” Charlene pays the true price of infidelity when she is forced to help her husband’s ex-wife move out of the family home. (“It’s like you’re North Korea and South Korea… But would North Korea help South Korea move?”)

From one of today’s most accomplished bard’s of modern life–of waking up in the wrong bed, wearing the wrong shoes, being late for the wrong job, but being loved by the right people–a fresh and satisfying work of glorious humour and immense kindness.


This novel contains short stories which involves: some life decisions to be made, odd relationships (not all romantic) and mainly the oddities of human social behaviour in a fresh voice.

I enjoyed the first story the most and Pandemic Behaviour. The rest were not too enjoyable as I found them to be quite boring, not relatable and moves very slowly that did not hold my attention.

Thank you to the publishers for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest thoughts.

3/5 Stars


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