The ten remarkable stories in Oh, My Darling highlight the secret streams that run through relationships: the moments of revelation, the subtle acts of revenge and the lengths we will go for love. Characters include a middle-aged mother who gets embroiled with a young man as she tries to understand her son’s addiction; a boy on a Caribbean island who struggles to deal with his father’s Nazi past; an old man who obsesses over the size of his coffin, and whether he can transported in it down his narrow apartment stairs; and a cople who uncover their secret fate at the Delphic oracle in Greece. Passionate and precise, these stories are infused with an uncommon originality. This is writing of the very first order by one of Canada’s best writers.

—From the HarperCollins book jacket

  • Globe and Mail Best Book of 2013
  • National Post Best Book of 2013
  • Winner of the CBC Bookie Award for Best Short Story Collection
  • Longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Award

 To read the title short story in The Walrusclick here.


“There are some authors who hold the key to my heart. (They) can make me weep quite suddenly, or stop me cold with an insight. I put the book down and think: ‘Oh, yes, that’s exactly what it’s like. I too, have felt that way.’ In doing so such authors take the hard business of being human and make it a little less lonely. Authors who do that for me include…Ian McEwan and Carol Shields. And now, Shaena Lambert. Good writing, good storytelling, can tear a little rent in your heart when you least expect it. Lambert’s characters are wistful, tragic, caught like the rest of us in the quotidian drama, wishing it was otherwise.”

Edmonton Journal, staff pick for favourite book of the year

“Touchingly human tales about big subjects, told with beauty and dexterity.”

—National Post

“If forced to choose one story to characterize Lambert’s talents…it would be ‘Little Bird’…The story is so beautiful and finely tuned that too close a description may ruin the unforgettable experience of it…The story is remarkable in its ability to tell the whole in such a short space, in its delicate language but stark reality, and in its portrayal of how life can almost always be raced back into a full circle.”

—The Globe and Mail

“Private worlds laid open to scrutiny. What is most on display in all of these stories in Oh, My Darling is the succinct, explicit power of observation of the writer. There isn’t a discordant note anywhere.”

—The Vancouver Sun

“Exquisite prose and masterful story structure…Simply put, this volume is good (superb actually) and good for you…Lambert studied with Atwood and shares the same sophistication of narrative.”

—Winnipeg Free Press

(Lambert’s) dialogue, always believable, is unique to each character. The story lines have perfect pitch: nothing is explained, but everything is revealed.”

—The Georgia Straight

“In all of these stories, Lambert pulls the reader in with deft and seamless prose, complex characters, insight into our often contradictory emotions, and the originality of her voice – a combination that results in an absorbing and vivid book.”

—Quill and Quire

Oh, My Darling is thunderstorm powerful, otherworldly, wickedly great. It lies beyond the range of merely astonishing. Shaena Lambert travels so deeply into the raw and beautiful reservoirs of humanity that it seems a marvel that she ever made it back out. That she did is our most excellent fortune. Read this book.”

—Rick Bass, author of The Watch and All the Land to Hold Us

“Shaena Lambert’s stories are jubilant, ironic, bone-marrow intimate and hyper-vivid. Her character are drawn with signature accuracy and exuberance; they are bold and unfaithful, zealous and brave, fearful and true. Oh, My Darling is fist-pump marvellous. Lambert will take your heart captive.”

—Lisa Moore, author of February and Caught

“A joy to read. Lambert’s language and characters shine on every page.”

—Barbara Gowdy

“(Oh, My Darling explores)…how we fit into the world, into our lives, mother-daughter relationships which are freighted and fraught, the awkward symmetry of marriage, the stunning pain of loss….Bodies are bound and unbound, bodies are revealed, mottled middle-aged bodies with wrinkles and scars and unfeeling abdomens whose nerve endings were never repaired after cesarean sections so long ago. Fragile, flawed and precious. Oh, My Darling.”

—Kerry Clare, from her Canadian website of literary reviews, Pickle me This