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In this powerful collection of short fiction from “down under” — by turns, beautiful, disturbing and funny — Goldsmith gives us resilient characters who push or are swept beyond the lines of acceptable or customary behavior; some of them live in barely sustainable emotional territory. A pregnant woman (in “North of Goyder’s”) tries to protect a refugee in Australia’s unforgiving outback. “RU OK?” tells of a university counselor confronted by an assertive student on World Suicide Prevention Day. On a lighter note, true love prevails (in “Dear John”) over a damaging electronic blunder, thanks to the mailer-daemon!

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