Cover of Kind Eyes
Kind Eyes
Gentle Reading for Troubled Times
A single line drawing is an attempt to simplify the world around us, to represent the complex in one continuous line. Similarly, Reed's short stories each artfully reflect the complexity of human relatedness in a single situation or moment. In her simple and elegant prose, Reed, like the single line artist, rises to the challenge of capturing the true shape of a moment. The award-winning stories in Kind Eyes, draw the reader into relationship with the ordinary people in our lives—lovers and strangers, friends and families. 

In these pages, we meet memorable characters: a charming, homeless teenage con; a couple who divide their lawn into left and right at election times; an actress with Alzheimer's; an insecure "Lawyer of the Year"; a dog with a taste for rum cake. 

In simple and complex ways, Reed's characters go about their daily lives, experiencing fear and hope, confusion and clarity, revulsion and love. We see in them people seemingly different from us to whom we are ultimately connected as one.

Although she practiced intellectual property law in Chicago for almost 39 years, Mary Hutchings Reed has devoted much of the past 30 years to writing. In addition to three books on sponsorship and cause-related marketing law, Mary has published four novels and a handful of short stories. Her first novel, Courting Kathleen Hannigan (Ampersand, Inc.), was published in 2007. Warming Up was the second in print (She Writes Press 2013)--a top finalist in three national contests and Runner-up in the Soon to be Famous Author Project of the Illinois Library Association. Ten percent of the proceeds of Warming Up benefits The Night Ministry, serving Chicago’s homeless. Her third published novel, Saluting the Sun, was the inaugural publication under the Good Reading for a Cause imprint inaugrated by Ampersand, Inc. All books under this imprint benefit a charity selected by the author. Mary donates 10% of the proceeds from its sale to LAF, the largest provider of pro bono civil legal services to the poor and under-served of metropolitan Chicago. Mary was the 2015 the recipient of the Champion for Justice award from LAF (now Legal Aid Chicago) in recognition of her life-long commitment to legal services for persons living in poverty. One for the Ark, Mary s fourth published novel, won the Bronze Medal in the Foreword Reviews INDIES Awards and was a finalist for the International Book Award. Ten percent of the proceeds from One for the Ark benefits Lawyers for the Creative Arts, which provides pro bono legal services to emerging artists and arts organizations. She has been a board member for more than 30 years and earned its Distinguished Service Award in 2006. One for the Ark is currently in development as an indie feature film written and directed by Tom Trinley, and Saluting the Sun is in development as a stage musical by Amy Steele and Donna Steele.
Her short fiction has appeared in ARS Medica, The Liguorian, The Tampa Review, The Florida Review, (Finalist, Editors Prize), r.k.v.r.y and Hemingway Shorts, Volume 4. For several years, she wrote a bi-monthly column on fiction writing for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, "Amicus Scriptor." Her musical, Fairways, about golf, honesty and love, has been produced four times in the Chicago area. 

Mary was named Best Advertising Lawyer in Chicago in 2012 and 2014. She also won the Esther Rothstein Award for Mentoring from the Women s Bar Association in 2011. She is a graduate of Brown University (1973) with a combined B.A. in public policy making, M.A. degree in economics and a law degree from Yale Law School (1976). She serves on the Yale Law School Executive Committee. 

Mary lives in Chicago and Walworth, Wisconsin, with her husband, William R. Reed, MD.

Softcover: 6 x 9, 144 pages
Published: June 23, 2020
ISBN 13: 978-1734070811

Electronic Editions:
Kindle Edition (amazon.com); Nook Edition (bn.com)

We Are All Connected

Kinds Eyes gives you one great story after another. The line drawing on the book cover of this collection by a master short story writer creates an apt analogy to connecting characters you’ll meet from one story to the next. A young man observes that a stranger, his mark, has “kind eyes.” As in life, she’s soon feels herself conned only to discover through a series of encounters that he provides the opportunity to work toward her dreams. The kind eyes in the title story may belong to the character, but the one with kind eyes in this first story, and in the stories that follow, is the writer who not only sees the good in her characters, but as with genuine kindness, their weaknesses and foibles, the possibility of change and of learning from life.

Every good performance – dance, music, art, fiction – has variation; this selection of stories is like a well-choreographed dance or a well-curated exhibit in delightful contrasts in length, setting, mood and the characters depicted. What never varies is the depth of the characterization and the poignancy of the challenges the protagonists and the people in their lives face. The kindness – the writer’s determination – to see and understand as much as possible of others’ lives drives the characters’ actions and the telling of the tales.

When you finish “Sweet Prince,” the last story, you’ll know that, like Father O’Conner, after surviving attacks on one’s integrity and behavior, his best efforts to rise above the hurt and anger and reach out in kindness end up leaving the most obvious question unasked. After reading Mary Hutchings Reed’s Kind Eyes, the reader is challenged to look at others with greater compassion with a better sense of how complex life’s demands are.
Barliant, Author of One Day’s Tale 

One of the remarkable qualities of Mary Hutchings Reed's fiction is the steady gaze she directs at her characters, catching every foible and tic that can be seen from the outside, then reaching down to find the doubts, fears, longings, and motives the person has tried to hide. The attention she gives to the complexities of human nature, in stories that are at once lively, witty, and deep, makes her work especially relevant to our turbulent times.
–Fred Shafer, Literary Editor and Lecturer, Northwestern University

With razor-sharp accuracy, Mary Hutchings Reed peels away the protective layers of her characters to reveal both their frailties and strengths: an elderly woman leaving her home of 53 years, a musical actress down on her luck, and a liberal, activist woman confronted by a religious vision.
–Linda A. Keane, Author, The House on Lowell Street and winner of Grand Prize for Fiction 2018, Deep River Books

What a treat! This collection contains fourteen engaging stories from Mary Hutchings Reed, a Chicago writer (and lawyer) who captures Midwestern life, what it's like to work in the law, and the relationships among people in places both high and low that keep the world turning. You're going to love these stories!
–Delia O'Hara, Journalist