In her second collection of short stories, For All of the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, Danila Botha explores the intense depths and many meanings of love, relationships and couplings. In this powerful collection, we come to see the plenty sides of the heart: the good, the bad and the downright terrible.
Botha divides the collection into the main stages of any relationship’s formation and breakdown. She does not hold back from the messiness and rawness that comes with all of the resulting emotions, leaving you feeling like you have made a relatable companion within these 18 heart-grabbing stories. We meet every kind of lover, cheater, romantic and loser, and the kinds of people who fall for them. Essentially anyone who is human.
“Sometimes you miss the spontaneity of your former life,” is one line that showcases how Botha captures what so many people feel in relationships but are unsure of how to articulate. Some part of how you feel will pop out at you as you ponder your own loves and losses. The stories inside the collection vary. So many of the ways people act in love are included.
This stunning collection will absolutely affect you, and perhaps help you move on from some of the losses you have suffered, realizing with certainty that you are not alone. You are sure to see yourself or someone who reminds you of someone else as you let the characters pierce your own humanness.
Each of these stories are real and honest, open and gut-wrenching, and Botha makes them jump out from the page into your mind. The characters are unforgettable. This book will stay with you for a long time, as you ponder your own understanding of love long after you have shut the last page.