“Little Nothing” is the latest from Marisa Silver. I’d only read a collection of short stories (“Babe in Paradise”) by her before.
The novel follows Pavla, a shape-shifting girl (then woman, then wolf…thus the shape-shifting) and Danilo, her would-be lover; Pavla from birth.
The woman knows how to tell a good story, from Pavla’s birth in an unnamed Eastern European country to, well the end (don’t want to issue a spoiler). The shapeshifting made me think about identity and changing identities, and Danilo’s relationship with Pavla made physical identity so secondary to the real story here which is, in part, about the constancy of love. And that reminded me of a mom friend from a few years back (she moved back home to Ohio when Park Slope became really unaffordable). About her husband, she said “He’d still love me if I had a hole in middle of my face.”
Actually, what she said was “He wouldn’t even notice if I had a hole in the middle of my face.”, but that’s another story.