With inventive language and dry-as-bone wit, Morse presents a flotilla of unforgettable characters in unexpected situations (an inebriated bookseller on the rebound, a real estate visit that ends in the ER...) in a wildly original collection that celebrates—and augurs—the violent possibility of our American lives.
— Courtney Maum, author of "I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You" and "Touch."
 
 
Like Sally Mann’s Hold Still, I found Spangled Ruin very approachable engaging writing.The stories draw you in and you think they’re light but then you get a punch that is unexpected and thought provoking.
— Bridget Hughes, wellness expert and appreciative reader
I absolutely love these stories, insightful, gentle, and also searing. It takes courage to write about the most tender aspects of human life, and talent to do so well, and luckily for us Holly Morse has both courage and talent to burn. Read Spangled Ruin and it will stay with you and you will be grateful that it does.
— Robin Black, Author of If I Loved You I Would Tell You This and Life Drawing


"By the time the guests arrive, crostini have been added to the carrot and salad offerings. Wine and juice glasses are at the ready on the dining room table. Next to these, Sarah splays small square napkins with owls on them. She wonders if there are owls in The Andes where Elijah’s kind are native. If so, they are certainly guinea pigs’ predators. She hopes this doesn’t cross Zander’s mind. Animal and napkin-wise, it was the best she could do."

  -- In Test Subjects  Sarah cares for her much younger half-brother, Zander, by throwing a wake for his pet. It turns out all three of them, Sarah, Zander, and the unfortunate guinea pig, have some important news about what passes between the living and the dead.