Dark Roots

In ”Habit,” a cancer patient pretends to be a nun to smuggle coke through customs; in ”The Testosterone Club,” a man believes his drinking pals instead of his wife when the guys claim she came on to them. If there’s a common theme to these efficient, heartbreakingly detailed tales, it’s the truth that lies in what isn’t said. Cate Kennedy’s message in Dark Roots is more accessible in the title story, about a 39-year-old woman experiencing the elation and debilitating insecurity that comes with a 26-year-old boyfriend. At its roots, Kennedy’s work shows how vibrant — and vital — the short story can be. A-

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