Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It is Maile Meloy’s latest collection of short stories. The stories are not related by subject or theme, though each of the stories quietly glimpse at their protagonists’ troubled lives.
This was my first time reading Maile Meloy, and I was pretty disappointed with the collection. The book got wonderful reviews when it came out, and it was one of the books I was very eager to read at the beginning of this year. Since none of my local libraries carried it, I put in an interlibrary loan request and waited months for the book to come in.
I’m glad I didn’t purchase the book when it came out.
Meloy is a good writer, but her style is sparse—almost too sparse—and subtle. Having read authors like Lahiri and Alexie right before picking up Meloy’s book, then jumping into this collection, was admittedly jarring. I do love subtle books, but none of the stories in this collection were particularly memorable. Of the eleven stories in the collection, I was only stirred by two or three. The rest were good, but I wasn’t particularly blown away.
I would read Meloy again, though. In fact, I own two of her other books; I just think I’ll have to be in a very particular mood before I settle down with them.