‘The World Has Many Butterflies’ by Curtis Sittenfeld

An agonising story about a married woman, Julie, who falls for her husband’s colleague only to completely misread his intentions. It’s excruciating to read, partly because of the way that Sittenfeld writes the build up; we see Julie’s desire, we know how much she likes this guy, and yet we also know, before she does, that she is going to be crushed. And yet even though we sort of know what’s going to happen, the tension is so taut, and so irresistible. Again, one of those stories that makes everything look so easy when really it’s so cleverly executed.

Collected in You Think it, I’ll Say it, Black Swan/Random House, 2018

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