In a delightful collection, The Guy Not Taken: Stories spotlights intriguing characters from Manhattan to Philadelphia, pinpointing significant moments in their lives.

Love and relationships form the core themes, along with wishes for roads not taken. Lives not lived. Guys not chosen. My favorite story was entitled “The Guy Not Taken,” and showed a sleep-deprived new mother whose mind wanders along a fantasy pathway as she clicks onto an ex’s online wedding registry. Her thoughts carry her into an alternative life that includes her ex, while her present life no longer exists. The panic she feels as the scenes unfold reminds us that sometimes we must be careful what we wish for.

A classic piece of inherited Manhattan real estate is the centerpiece of another story. When a young woman sets off a chain of events leading to its sale, almost without her consent, she must reexamine the life she has chosen.

Loneliness, loss, separation…all these themes represent transformative moments in the lives of the characters; moments to which the reader can connect. I enjoyed this short story collection and recommend it for fans of Jennifer Weiner’s work. Four stars.

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