“This Angel on My Chest” by Leslie Pietrzyk

(Leslie was one of my mentors in Converse’s MFA program)


This Angel on My Chest by Leslie Pietrzyk is a collection of linked short stories is both difficult to read and hard to put down. It is difficult to read because it is based on Leslie’s own life–becoming a widow at a young age–and entering into the grief of each of these women is a hard thing. But also a wonderful thing as each story is told in a different format, with a different point of view.

Pietrzyk’s writing draws the reader into the small orbit of each woman’s struggle with the unexpected death of a loved one–how does one continue on when such a devastating event threatens to bury you as well? But each character does, in her own way and in her own time.

Pietrzyk’s book is the winner of the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and was one of the Best Books in fiction of 2015, according to Kirkus Reviews.