The thing I absolutely love about Gilbert as a writer is her warm, sensitive voice and her simple, yet sophisticated way of telling very human tales. Pilgrims is a collection of her short stories, and, as ever, Gilbert is true to style. And for everyone who loves the gritty America of seedy bars, cowboy boots and wide open spaces, this book focuses on that theme beautifully.
Having said that, not all of the stories spoke to me. Some I found made no impression on me at all (Elk Talk, Alice to the East, Come and Fetch These Stupid Kids). Others I found too bizarre to enjoy (The Names of Flowers and Girls, The Famous Torn and Restored Lit Cigarette Trick, The Finest Wife, Bird Shot). And then there were a few I absolutely loved (Landing, Pilgrims, The Many Things Denny Brown Did Not Know (Age Fifteen), At The Bronx Terminal Vegetable Market).
But I think this is inevitable in a book of short stories, and I wonder whether that is the beauty of such a collection - There will be something in there for everyone, and different stories will mean different things to you at different times in your life. As such, it is a little box of treasures.