Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Rule captures the essence of small-town New England life as she paints with a sure hand the fallings-out and friendships, the trials and triumphs of the New England microcosm. In "Yankee Curse," elderly Miranda knits placidly at a town meeting, pondering an amazing string of unspoken invective against an enemy but stopping short at "a curse she would never levy, not even on Mort Wallace: to live too long." In "Minna Runs for Selectman," a middle-aged woman's battlefield is "the strange, incestuous politics of this eccentric little town" but her real opponent is her own insecurity. In "Jim's Boat" a young couple wages a silent struggle over priorities in their marriage; in "Fishing with George" a small girl worries that "there's a hole in our family that gets bigger every time" her parents argue; and in the title story a mother copes with a hated neighbor through a sculpture that "makes her laugh the kind of laugh that doesn't end in a sob." Children and grandmothers, trappers and college professors, lifetime Yankees or transplanted Flatlanders: each finds the truth in Rule's observation that "revenge takes many forms — some of which can heal."
eBook The Best Revenge