The women who populate this brilliant short-story collection don’t really know how to lean in. In fact, from all indications, they’re barely hanging on. They’re marginalized and poor -- not just in terms of material wealth but also when it comes to healthy relationships and self-esteem. Yet all is not lost. Hope somehow manages to glimmer in the darkness. We catch the women right on the cusp of making valuable self-discoveries. Laura Van Den Berg’s characters might rely on crutches (deception is one of them), but they’re resolute in their determination to find an escape. They’re battered but not broken.