By Beth Ryan
The twelve stories found between the covers of What is Invisible? span time and place – from a 1920s outport in Newfoundland, to the streets of downtown St. John’s in the 1970s then to a condominium complex in Florida of the year 2000.
What is Invisible? features a diverse collection of characters…a teenaged babysitter who turned Woolworth’s counter girl into a passion for something of her own, a middle aged police officer who puts his career on the line to make working girls feel special, an elderly woman who struggles to understand her life after cancer threatens to end it, a young Newfoundland man living in Fort McMurray who realizes you can’t forget who you once were.
In her first collection of short fiction, Beth Ryan creates a series of distinct worlds, populated by people who make choices based on what they see, what they believe they can see, or what they cannot see at all. On the surface, these people don’t have a lot in common. But most of them live on the edge of their own worlds, as they shun convention, stray over the line, or act as detached observers.
With an unpretentious writing style and careful attention to the details of people’s real lives, Ryan explores questions of family, morality, and identity. The people you will meet in, What is Invisible? are searching for the truth but they end up finding some of their answers in their own secrets and lies.
Winner of the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award