Sunday, October 30, 2011

Just Finished: Wye Write Again

Before I get my review of Wye Write Again: A Collection started, I have to admit two things:

1. I'm not usually a big fan of short stories; and

2. Some of the stories were written by one of my very best friends.

Honesty is the best policy, right? :)

When Sandy asked me to read their collection of short stories for my blog I did not hesitate. I'm so proud of her for being a published author - so much so that I'm sort of like a proud mother hen, or whatever animal it is that is really proud of her offspring - and I wanted to share my thoughts on the book to all of you lovely readers (you're all awesome. Really.)

The authors!

The authors of these short stories are all women of different ages from the Northern Simcoe County area in Ontario. Wye Write Again is the second book these women have written and there were seven authors who contributed a total of 26 stories to this edition.

What I really enjoyed about this collection was the variety. Since there are so many authors it means there are many points of view and interests. This allowed for the stories to all have a different flavour to them which, in my opinion, kept things more interesting.

Some of the stories I really loved (more about them in a minute) and some of them I didn't love, but that's to be expected with so many different stories. The ones I wasn't crazy about were the stories that were more like snapshots instead of a video (how do you like that comparison? :) ) By this I mean that they were a quick explanation of something instead of an in depth look. This helped me realize that I like stories/books/movies to be wrapped up nicely and have some sort of narrative to it. Not to say those snapshot stories weren't good - they just weren't my favourites.

Speaking of favourites, I had three:

Brass Buttons and Stardust
Friends Marjorie and Thora are young women looking for some summer romance from the navy, army, and Air Force men in town. Marjorie meets Len and has a splendid few months going to dances and stealing kisses during lunch. Eventually, Marjorie learns that Len isn't what he seems and has to deal with this revelation.
What I liked about this one was that it seemed to have some basis in historical fact, as the beginning and ending of the story had excerpts from Marjorie Dempsey's memoirs. I could be wrong about this, but the idea that this actually happened (or at least something happened with Marjorie and Len and author Carol took some artistic license with it) really added to the story for me.

Norah's First Crush
Norah is a teenager living in Ireland who has finally caught the eye of her crush, Billy. The story follows the sweet romance between the pair until Norah's parents decide to move the family to Canada. Poor Norah is devastated, she has to leave Billy and her best friend Abbey behind. She shouldn't worry and should instead listen to what the wise gypsy woman had to say to her one day.
It didn't surprise me too much that I enjoyed this one too because I tend to really enjoy historical fiction (not all of it, of course, I'm partial to different periods of time). I liked how author Marilyn wove in a "fantastical" element - Norah gets her fortune told by the gypsy woman - and it's really interesting to see how it turns out.

Blind Date at the Book Nook Cafe
Anna is nervously awaiting her blind date in a delightful coffee shop inside of an old library. Her date is late and she's just about to leave when Adam finally shows up. After some witty banter between Anna and Adam, the reader is hopeful that this blind date will turn into a full fledged relationship.
Another confession - this favourite was written by Sandy. This was actually the first story I read from the collection and I read it with Sandy in my presence a few weeks back. Right away I told her she needs to expand it into a novel - I loved it that much. It was sweet and has the potential to be a really great full length novel.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the stories in Wye Write Again. It's made me rethink my position on short stories - which is a great thing! I always thought they were too short to really make an impact but some of these stories made me realize that you can get a great narrative in only a few pages.

The collection is currently only able to be bought locally (but I will update this if I find out that I'm wrong) so if any of you are ever north of Toronto, check out these places for copies. That being said, the ladies would like to further promote their collection. If there are any Canadian bloggers who happen upon this post and are interested in reading Wye Write Again please email me (books.etc.blogger AT gmail DOT com) and I will coordinate things. In the meantime, please check out their website for author bios, excerpts, and the like.

The moral of the story today is that you shouldn't judge a book by its length. Sometimes the shorter ones will leave you with much more to think about than full length novels.

Happy reading :)

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow! These snippets sound excellent! What a great idea to review them here. I loved your morale of the post too. hehe


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