Who doesn’t love a story, especially a short one that rankles our humanness and leaves us wiser?

Such is found within the pages of The Shell Collector – Stories (2002) crafted by word-artist Anthony Doerr, a collection of eight short stories of tangled relationships set in out-of-the-way cultures around the world.

Against a backdrop of shimmering oceans and forests, taciturn collectors and avid hunters and fishermen, a depressed teen, and women of mystic abilities — all inch their way toward definitive change. Misunderstandings, wrong turns, and numerous foibles heighten the suspense. Only on the last page of each story is there resolution, and not always happy. But within the pain of the protagonists lies spiritual growth, both for them and for us. Our imaginations have been cleansed.