By the end of the title story, the first of this debut collection, it’s clear Costello is the real deal, capable of turning clay into porcelain. The narrator, with a survivor’s guilt, recalls her last summer job in the west before escape to student life in Dublin. The epigraph from Rilke sets the tone: “We are all falling . . . all have this falling-sickness none withstands.” Throughout the stories, life’s harsh lessons – marital infidelity and frustration; parental frailty; the loss of a baby; the death of a child – are tenderly told, with deft description and a dramatist’s ear for dialogue.