What do you do when you receive spam email? Do you ignore it like the majority of the world, or do you choose to respond? One day, a character in Barbara Browning’s novel “The Gift” decided to do the latter. What ensues is an exploration of the character’s “inappropriate intimacies” with a variety of people. A habit of boldly spamming people with her ukelele covers leads the character to a gifted yet troubled musician living in Germany. “The Gift” follows their correspondence and eventual collaboration. They share music. They share hand dances. They share life stories. It’s marvelous.

Through music, art, dance, and the various means of communication at our disposal, Browning makes us ponder age-old questions. How well do we ever know the people we are with? How well do we even know ourselves? Laugh, cry, reflect: Browning’s “The Gift” is sure to bring some enlightenment to your life.

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