Half in Love by Maile Meloy John Murray $108 In the final story of this collection, the narrator says: 'I tried to think of something that seemed important enough to say but not too sad to talk about, and could think of nothing.' In Maile Meloy's world, anything worth writing about is sad, usually in the heart-wrenching, plainspoken way of country music. A native of Montana, she sets many of her pieces in the lonely open spaces of the American west - on ranches, in small towns and in forests. She occasionally moves further afield. One is set in Paris, another in wartime London, but life isn't any better there. Her characters are usually stoics, facing the bitter reality of life without complaining. Whether she's writing about a teenage girl living on a remote ranch, an 83-year-old bluegrass guitar player or a thoroughbred filly born prematurely on an icy winter's night, the events play out like Greek tragedies.