A collection of short stories that captures the scope of lives on the periphery of things. Often painful, poignant and well worded, most of the stories left me staring off out the window, imagining more. I was impressed with Packer's breadth of character's and her deftness at making them believable. Often short story collections make for a lurching ride on the reader's part, but DRINKING COFFEE ELSEWHERE, has a certain consistency between pieces that makes it a fluid read. Packer explores risk, sexuality, loneliness and anger in many of these pieces, and several pack a gut-slugging punch of reality. Packer conveys that life is raw, ripe, and dangerous. Something we all feel, I believe, though few of us know how to fit words around it.