A single line drawing, such as the one on the cover of Kind Eyes, is an attempt to simplify the world around us, to represent the complex in one continuous line. Similarly, Reed’s short stories each artfully reflect the complexity of human relatedness in a single situation or moment. In her simple and elegant prose, Reed, like the single line artist, rises to the challenge of capturing the true shape of a moment. The award-winning stories in Kind Eyes draw the reader into relationship with the ordinary people in our lives–lovers and strangers, friends and families. In these pages, we meet memorable characters:
In simple and complex ways, Reed’s characters go about their daily lives, experiencing fear and hope, confusion and clarity, revulsion and love. We see in them people seemingly different from us to whom we are ultimately connected as one.
One of the remarkable qualities of Mary Hutchings Reed’s fiction is the steady gaze she directs at her characters, catching every foible and tic that can be seen from the outside, then reaching down to find the doubts, fears, longings, and motives the person has tried to hide. The attention she gives to the complexities of human nature, in stories that are at once lively, witty, and deep, makes her work especially relevant to our turbulent times.
Lecturer, Northwestern University
I know these people! That’s what I felt like when I read Kind Eyes. Mary Hutchings Reed has brought these characters to life in exquisite brush strokes of humanity: strength, foibles, humor, pathos. Extraordinary short tales that are quickly read but long remembered.
Founder, Steel Beam Theatre
Dive into any story by Mary Hutchings Reed and be welcomed into a world of characters who will claim their place in your heart. Watch them weave their way into and out of the multiple complex issues that mark their humanity. Ms. Reed’s people are irresistible company.
Lucia Blinn, Poet
We Can’t Live in Queens
and six other volumes
In her story collection Kind Eyes, Mary Hutchings Reed seamlessly links the personal and the professional, deep emotion with sharp physical detail . . . illuminating the often-hidden threads that connect us. It’s all done with a delicate touch and graceful style that pull the reader into the lives of Reed’s ordinary, yet extraordinary characters.
G.W. (Bill) Kennedy, Author
Professor Ben Barklee Mysteries
A Necessary Hero
With razor-sharp accuracy, Mary Hutchings Reed peels away the protective layers of her characters to reveal both their frailties and strengths: an elderly woman leaving her home of 53 years, a musical actress down on her luck, and a liberal, activist woman confronted by a religious vision.
Linda A. Keane, Author
The House on Lowell Street
Grand Prize for Fiction 2018, Deep River Books.
What a treat! This collection contains fourteen engaging stories from Mary Hutchings Reed, a Chicago writer (and lawyer) who captures Midwestern life, what it’s like to work in the law, and the relationships among people in places both high and low that keep the world turning. You’re going to love these stories!
Delia O’Hara, Journalist