Life, Bound (Midnight Sun 2020) is an eclectic collection of short stories by Marian Matta featuring characters sometimes stuck in old habits and constrained by past events, sometimes challenged by obstacles or situations thrown unexpectedly into their paths, and sometimes facing a sliding door moment or asked to make a choice that will have irrevocable consequences. Many of the stories have ambiguous or thought-provoking endings, leaving the reader to wonder what might have happened next.

The Heart of Harveys Lane is a ghostly story about an artist and a house within a house. Climb is an unsettling story with a shocking twist. Matta tackles gender diversity in Danny Boy with sensitivity. Babies-in-their-Eyes is a heartbreaking story of aging and lost chances. The author explores the complexities of relationships and of domestic violence and the sometimes impossible decisions to be made. She examines trust and climate change and sexuality and the fires of revenge. In Roadkill, a woman takes charge of her life in a surprising way.

This is a fairly even and consistent collection of stories that are all warm, witty or thoughtful. An interesting collection by a mature writer whose life experience is demonstrated in her array of ideas.