So We Can Glow by Leesa Cross-Smith

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: relationships, sex, death, adultery, mental health, miscarriage, abuse.

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars


Whiskey & Ribbons and local Kentucky author Cross-Smith adds a second collection of short stories to her repertoire with So We Can Glow.

There are forty-two short stories in her collection, and so many of them made me wish they would continue into their own novels. I would fall into each page, only to quickly resurface, take a breath, and then fall again. Cross-Smith’s contemporary prose brings many social issues to life, placing the reader into the mind of the narrator for a brief period of time, but allowing them to feel and see though their eyes. Topics such as relationships, miscarriage, depression, race are told from a variety of women.


Cross-Smith’s format style also varies throughout, and while most follow the traditional prose style, there are a few stream of consciousness pieces that I didn’t think I’d enjoy as much as I did. I LOVED her “Girlheart Cake with Glitter Frosting” piece, and was so inspired by it… what makes up my own girlheart? I’m not sure who inspired Cross-Smith for that one, but I honestly wished I could print it out and hang it in my house as wall art.

It was hard to choose favorites in this collection though, and that’s always a good sign to me. I highlighted so many phrases and quotes. Cross-Smith has such a lovely way with words, and easily stirred an emotional connection from me to her pages. After publication day, I’ll come back to this review and share some of my favorite quotes, but take my word for it- there are many, and they are beautiful.

Published: March 10, 2020

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

TL/DR: So We Can Glow by Leesa Cross-Smith is a collection of short stories about women and contemporary issues.

Read it? YES.

Recommend it? YES!

Buy it? I’ll be grabbing a signed copy for myself when Cross-Smith makes her local event signing rounds!

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Categories: Book Review, Fiction, Kentucky Reads, Short Stories

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