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Reviewed by Carine Engelbrecht for Readers' Favorite
Women come in all shapes, sizes, shades and degrees of sanity. With the collection Because She Was A Woman, Kali Amanda Browne zooms in on the group and randomly gives us snapshots of individuals. Meet the mother whose daughter punishes her with a shotgun wedding. Wander a few steps in the ill-fitting shoes of the conscientious worker whose good intentions are held hostage by a psychopathic boss. Be startled by the ease with which an intelligent woman uses the guise of prejudice to her advantage. The stories are meticulously drawn vignettes that home in on turning points, brief but brutal tsunamis of bad behavior, and a variety of power games. Not all are tales of triumph, but at least a few of the stories feature satisfying twists that will leave you smiling.
While stories about women usually imply that they are the gender victims of men's dominance, the tales in this collection often dig far deeper into the fabric of the social game to reveal a surprising diversity of motives and outcomes. No two stories are alike and I enjoyed the rich details of setting and character that set each protagonist apart as an individual, and sometimes cast a seemingly straightforward situation in an unusual perspective. We learn that sometimes women can be equally disadvantaged by the machinations of other women. I cannot say that I liked all of the women featured in the collection, but if I had to pick favorite pieces, they would probably be "Not Gwen" or "Child of God."