A touching look at love and aging. Valerie Taylor, while sometimes dated in her views of homosexuality, delivers a powerful tale of romance between tw...moreA touching look at love and aging. Valerie Taylor, while sometimes dated in her views of homosexuality, delivers a powerful tale of romance between two aging women in small town USA.
As a 21st century reader, one must have the mindset that Taylor lived and wrote as a bisexual, if not complete lesbian living a "proper" life with usband and children, when homosexuality was touted at sinful, unholy, and dishonorable. But even with Taylor's own sometimes disparaging comments to her own sexuality, she writes with a simplistic beauty that touches the reader.
The story takes place between an aging woman at the epitome of retirement who has always been secure in her lesbianism and an also aging woman who had never explored hers. A fast friendship sparks up and the lead woman, resolute that being retired and sixty-five means she'll never experience love or sex again. When she moves to small town USA and meets a woman who strikes her fancy, she rejects the notion she can ever act on it or that the other woman might reciprocate.
Until the apple orchard. And a world is opened anew for each woman. The main character explores the continuation of love and sexuality, and the other woman begins to explore uncertain feelings and sexuality that she never was sure she possessed.
Taylor delivers a touching, well written tale of love at any age. From what I understand she herself was older, having been married to a man and producing children, before fully embracing and exploring her lesbianism. The author's own emotions and thoughts are clearly evident, making the story so much more poignant and heartfelt.
I loved this book. As evidenced by the five star rating, I'd re-read it.(less)
Since I am included in this anthology, I will refrain from commenting on my own story. However I must put in a review of the anthology on a whole.
The...moreSince I am included in this anthology, I will refrain from commenting on my own story. However I must put in a review of the anthology on a whole.
The stories included are incredibly diverse, covering everything from HEA-traditional (although in some roundabout and interesting ways) to the less conventional "Um, wow!" type endings.
There are tales that will make you cry, some will make you laugh, and others will make you cringe. Actually a good many of them will make you cringe, but that would be the point of an anthology that deals with the less than glamorous side of love and relationships.
I'm quite proud of my inclusion with this group of writers. When you first enter into an anthology, you wonder what the other stories will be like, the skill of the writers involved. I couldn't have been more pleased with the group herein.
If you don't pick up this anthology, you do yourself as a reader a great disservice.(less)
Harlow Kingston is the guy we all know. He's a wreck; he can't seem to say or do the right thing, even when he's thinking about it. Yet there is somet...moreHarlow Kingston is the guy we all know. He's a wreck; he can't seem to say or do the right thing, even when he's thinking about it. Yet there is something indescribable about him. Magnetic and a tragic beauty.
Mr. Bad Example is the story about social misfit Harlow Kingston who drinks his way through life and series of relationships (good or bad). Sometimes he learns from his interactions; most of the time he doesn't. While the book may be considered gritty or dark by some, others will find the realism a welcome presence.
Highlight: Grundon writes with simple flourish. His sentences are well-crafted; his imagery point on. There is a wonderful, real meat to the story that kept me turning the page well after I should have put it down for responsibilities. Harlow is a destructive but likeable character, despite his mounds of flaws. His emotion is quite real and Grundon portrays it well.
Lowlight: (Mechanical/technical) There were enough typos and grammatical errors to lead to distraction. If it wasn't that my copy was autographed, it would have been thoroughly marked up in red ink. Little flashback warning. The author does several flashback (for lack of a better term) segments that were puzzling. Temporarily they lifted me out of the story to figure out when the current story was taking place.
Regardless of any technical issues, Grundon has honed his skill from years of short stories to pour into his first full-length novel. Readers benefit greatly from the fact, too. A tremedous read.
The Drowned Life by Jeffrey Ford is a most appealing surreal journey. Ford hits the ground running with "Drowned Town", his opening short, and doesn't...moreThe Drowned Life by Jeffrey Ford is a most appealing surreal journey. Ford hits the ground running with "Drowned Town", his opening short, and doesn't stop. Drowned Life is speculative fiction at its finest.
Short stories woven together in a novel-like format, Ford manages to play semi-autobiographical shorts into otherwordly plots. Surrealistic environments are delivered with minimal force but maximum effect.
A perfect combination of mundane and curious that, at times, bogs down the mysteries, Ford still delivers satisfying tales. Difficult to call many an original voice amongst modern writers, Ford simply is one. A fast favorite. Deep and yet whimsical.
This novel is a solid 5 stars. It is re-read and re-read worthy.(less)
Choi begins a masterful, witty, dark tale about a Chinese\American woman trapped between two cultures. O...moreFiona Yu has a problem. She still has a hymen.
Choi begins a masterful, witty, dark tale about a Chinese\American woman trapped between two cultures. One that is willing to take matters - or a dildo - into her own hands in order to break out of the societal constrqints being placed on her by her overbearing parents.
Now enter her once-upon-a-time, troublemaker friend, Sean. Fi learns that her friend, and quite possibly the only love of her life, has a whole new set of rules to teach her about busting out and letting loose.
Imagine a writing style very much like Chuck Palaniuk and Amy Tan had bred, and you have Choi's stark voice. While I picked up this ebook as a free read special one weekend, I would happily pay the full cover price on it any day. If it tells you anything, I rarely rate anything 5 out of 5 stars. But Hello Kitty Must Die earns every star and then some!(less)