Ms. Phillips storytelling style is compact, yet complete. The reader consciously reads the first line and then visualizes the rest of the story. For those of you that are older it reminds one of the subtlety of Rod Serling narration, going to the film, and back to the narration again. The stories stand alone, and yet all comment on the human condition. The author seems to be experimenting whith her own style, and even to be at her best when experimenting the most. Of the tales, I believe "shiva's mother" (also the title of the book), is the most striking, but the other stories are more than capable of standing on their own. This is a collection worth purchasing, and an author worth noting and anticipating her next work, be it fiction or non-fiction.