Sunday, 18 December 2011
Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After
I received an early Christmas gift – well that’s how it felt when Debs Carr sent me a review copy of Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After.
It occurred to me as I read that it would make a brilliant gift for anyone who loves reading short stories and when you see the names of the writers, many of whom you will recognise, you know you are in good hands! And if you’re looking for a book to take on holiday or curl up with in front of the fire, then look no further.
The very first story by Helen Hunt draws you in with the title alone, A Single Strand of Spaghetti, A Single Drop of Olive Oil. Brilliant! That’s before you even get to the story which is a feast in itself.
Next up is How Deep Is Your Love by Cally Taylor. This one about the perils of internet dating made me laugh. And so I began a roller coaster ride as I travelled through the stories meeting a whole variety of characters. It does what it says on the cover, taking you through a range of emotions.
All the stories are enjoyable, but for the purpose of this review I picked out a few of my favourites: Hive Talking by Leigh Forbes – I liked Gerald and his quiet passion for his lovely bees and I very much liked the satisfying ending. At Death’s Door by Jill Steeples – a thought provoking tale which anyone who has suffered with a partner with the dreaded man flu will appreciate, but perhaps not in the way you’d expect. Never Too Late by Deborah Carr came close to my heart, reminding me of how much I worried about my mum after she was widowed which is something so many of us go through and identify with. Karen Clarke’s powerful story, Ghosts was beautifully written and really tugged at my heart – a story that haunted me long after I finished reading it. And the last story in the book, The Girl in the Yellow Dress by Bernadette James – a lovely one to end the book with as you say a contented “Ahhhh”.
You can read more about the writers and how the book came to be born here and buy the kindle version here .
The writers of the 26 stories are, Deborah Carr, Karen Clarke, Sarah Dunnakey, Leigh Forbes, Helen M Hunt, Bernadette James, Helen Kara, Jenny Maltby, Kathleen McGurl, Tamsyn Murray, Sally Quilford, Jill Steeples and Cally Talor.