Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bonds of Love & Blood” as Want to Read:
Bonds of Love & Blood
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bonds of Love & Blood

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Whether far from home or longing to escape, the people in these stories find themselves displaced from their normal routines. They misread the signals and wind up stranded on lonely beaches or seizing the moment before happiness flits away.

"MacDonald applies insight, power, and delicacy to create characters between whom the psychic space virtually sizzles." —FOREWORD REV
Kindle Edition, 238 pages
Published December 3rd 2015 by Summertime Publications Inc
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bonds of Love & Blood, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bonds of Love & Blood

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  31 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Bonds of Love & Blood
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved the writing style of this novel. I enjoyed 'Pancho Villa's Coin'. 'Almost Paradise' is highly amusing; a person feels a little sorry for Walter, although I found he has a real intellectual personality that I enjoyed reading about. In 'Key West', I got the feeling that Lana Buskirk brought up a spoilt brat. And I wan't really fond of 'Tom Jovanovich in 'Proud to be American'. With 'Finding Peter' I felt sorry for Anna Ringaard who was looking for her son; but I didn't agree with the choic ...more
Anita Lock
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bonds of Love and Blood is a stunning collection of MacDonald's previously published and award-winning short stories. More than half her compilation have either received high recognition or won titles. Among a list of accolades, MacDonald's awards include the Barry Hannah Prize, Jeanne Leiby Award, the Ron Rash Award, the Matt Clark Prize, and the American Literary Review Fiction Prize. Aptly titled, MacDonald's latest literary work presents humanity in its visceral form—the depth of characters' ...more
Angela Nwalie
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was elated to read Bonds of Love and Blood by Marylee MacDonald. The short stories were adventurous, fascinating and relatable. What a delightful treat to read such a great book.
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bonds of Love & Blood provides a compelling short story collection that weaves together disparate lives in many different places and moves across emotional landscapes of connection and alienation alike in the process of exploring the bonds that bind and caress.

Twelve stories center on various forms and aspects of love and their transitional powers: each protagonist faces something different, reacts in a singular manner, and ultimately changes enough to realize either a clearer purpose in life or
Margaret Spence
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Travel exposes us to ourselves. We visit other places to get away from the everyday. But stripped of the props of habit, our fears and foibles come to the fore. Marylee MacDonald holds up a mirror of self-discovery for the varied and idiosyncratic characters in this magnificent collection of short stories, many of which are set in exotic locales.
From Angela, a postal inspector, who left “an absolutely dead and vacant life” to vacation in Istanbul, where a Turkish friend tries to part her from he
Andrew Levkoff
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The one thing that stands out in Marylee MacDonald’s collection of short stories is…well, there are a lot more than one. Its wry humor, its investigation of the cracks between who we want to be and who we are, its unflinching scrutiny of the desires and betrayals that make us human.

Each story resonates with us on some visceral level. We’ve all succumbed to passivity for the sake of tranquility, we’ve felt the gravity of an unhealthy relationship pulling us back into its dysfunctional orbit, we’
Sharon Huether
A collection of short stories that centered around travel and getting a new sense of direction whether
it be in your familiar neighborhood or in distant lands.

I won this book through Goodreads First Reads.
Mary Clark
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These are powerful stories pulsing with life, going deep into the veins, the heart and head. I haven't read such muscular prose in years. Some of the stories are visceral, others take a longer view. They deal with the divides between men and women, young and old, Western and Asian cultures. The misunderstandings in these divides are clearly shown in the characters' actions and thoughts. At the same time, it is in exploring the chasm that greater understanding occurs. What seems to be compromise ...more
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story
These twelve short stories by Marylee MacDonald are marvels. Each is dryly humorous. Each resonates with the reader. Each explores the underlying viscera of relationships whether between parent/child, employer/employee, or lovers. Some I liked; some I re-read as soon as I finished the first reading. MacDonald is masterful at creating or recreating a setting whether the US, Mexico, Turkey, or Thailand.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so much in awe of Marylee MacDonald's uncanny skill with characterizations. So diverse but absolutely 'real' people. Loved every story. Great reading! ...more
Anthony W. Noblett
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it

Title: Bonds of Love and Blood
Author: Marylee MacDonald
Pages: 225
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction, Interpersonal Relations
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

In a way, these stories were all created with a purpose and a location in mind. Each story carried some sort of moral or understanding to be found in the end. They each felt so unique and the plot felt complete for each of them.

One of the Book club questions in the back of the book posed this great question that accurat
Reader Views
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (11/16)

“Bonds of Love & Blood” by Marylee MacDonald is an excellent book of short stories that will capture reader’s hearts and stay with them even after reading.

Through MacDonald’s writing readers are transported through a variety of plots, some which they have or may encounter that will give them the opportunity to decide on the endings. The short stories carried one from another with great ease and a seamless flow. The plots span around the world and t
Gregory Williams
I have enjoyed short story collections for years by authors as well known as Carver, Munro, and Wolff and found Bonds of Love & Blood equally engaging and well written. In fact I can’t think of a single collection that matches this collection for its breadth of settings: Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Prague, San Francisco, Key West, and the American Midwest. In each story, loyalties and love built through family ties or friendships are tested under the strain of circumstances, ...more
Lynn Sloan
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seldom have I read stories with the staying power of these. The characters in these twelve stories and their situations continue to resonate in my thoughts long after I came to the end. These stories involve a “stranger in a strange land,” the American woman seeking romance in Istanbul, a mother looking for her lost son in Prague, a Japanese man hoping to secure his daughter’s marriage to an American scientist, and more, but the real terrain is the human heart. With uncommon insight and profound ...more
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this collection of short stories in exchange for an honest review. I would give this short story anthology 4.5 stars. The only thing that would add to this anthology in my opinion would be some type of introduction by the author that gives you an understanding of her inspiration and motivation for writing these incredible short stories focused on travel experiences and relationships.

Although there is not a formal introduction (at least in the version I read), the author does
Nancy Poling
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love these stories. MacDonald masterly drawls us into the inner realm of a variety of individuals. I empathized with the mother searching for her son, the daughter of an abusive father, the young man with a noticeable birthmark, the young man searching for his place in the world, the American woman married to an Indian (Asian) man. The settings are as varied and rich as the characters: Cuba, Turkey, the Czech Republic, the U.S. These stories deserve a slow reading: the savoring of descriptive ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The stories in Bonds of Love & Blood are set in many countries with interactions between people who have cultural differences. In every story, Ms.MacDonald's descriptions use meaningful detail to enhance the themes. We learn that people have similar concerns wherever one may go and we puzzle with the narrators over such questions as "What are our obligations to others?" I enjoyed this collection very much. ...more
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is a collection of stories by MacDonald that deal with the differences in thinking between genders and also between the world views of Western and Asian cultures. It also sets up situations where people try to seize the day and make the most of the moment for happiness before it may be gone. Her characters are interesting, intriguing, and complex. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and look forward to reading more MacDonald's books. Check it out. ...more
I have always loved short stories. I learned in school that short stories are supposed to have a punch at the end. MacDonald delivers her punches in the beginning, the middle...I love the details she just tosses in that hardly anyone ever writes about. No spoilers here, but besides the topics that the other reviewers have mentioned, I enjoyed many little "haha" moments at some unexpected discussions. Very enjoyable (yes, that's an odd word for some heavy issues) read. ...more
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional collection of short stories. The range of characters is startling. It was like people watching at the airport or bus station. Across the country and around the world, MacDonald takes the reader inside the head of the average, everyday person and gives us an unflinching glimpse of what being human really means today. These are stories about relationships in all their complexity of emotions and hidden agendas.

Amy Louise
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lovely stories about travel and yet about home - and the interlinking human emotions tied to both. As with all great short stories, Marylee MacDonald has folded whole worlds into the space of a few pages. Her stories are poignant and strong at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her characters as they explore new worlds (from Turkey to Key West) even as they come to terms with old hurts and struggles. Highly recommend!
Josephine Briggs
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This book contains twelve short stories scattered in different parts of the world. Different people, different ages, different, yet the same. Bonds because we are all humanity, blood, we all bleed, we are all the same, yet all different.

The first story is set in Istanbul, Turkey. Angela is on vacation. She is friends with two Turkish men and one's wife. One has a brother in prison, he needs to buy him out. The two try to talk Angela into giving the money. Angela is too wise to be taken in. She l
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
MacDonald brings some compelling and authentic characters to life in this stellar collection of stories. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the relationships, and also the foreign places, she takes her reader in this book. Love it!
Rand Rhody
Surprising good collection of writings, all previously published in literary magazines. Author is able to create a range of believable narrators and protagonists, and in vastly different settings and scenes.
Melissa ownsbey
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
thank you for letting me review
loved it the writeing style was very good
I liked al the storys in in it
and I hope everyone gets a chance to read it
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Started reading the first exotic story and cannot put the book down. Best read in 2016. These stories set in various locations throughout the world explore the bleakness of the human heart.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Each short story is unique and transports the reader to places unexpected. The characters are crafted with such precision and love to make this collection of short stories a truly fascinating read.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marylee MacDonald is really a great american author and I hope her books will be translated into Italian sooner or later!
Rebecca D.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marylee MacDonald's stories are poignant and well-crafted. Each character portrayed in this collection had a unique voice and personal struggle, and all the settings were vivid and captivating. ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Mountain Pass
  • Untamed
  • The Plains of Passage (Earth's Children #4)
  • Hostage
  • Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #27)
  • Summer by the River
  • The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America
  • Crossing the River: Seven Stories That Saved My Life, A Memoir
  • Scooper and Dumper
  • Halo: Oblivion: A Master Chief Story
  • Bound in Flame (The Hawaiian Ladies’ Riding Society,  #1)
  • The Gad Nail (Gad the Zig)
  • Get Ready!: A Step-by-Step Planner for Maintaining Your Financial First Aid Kit
  • Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365-Day Journey
  • Bowery Mission: Grit and Grace on Manhattan's Oldest Street
  • Three Hours In Paris
  • Rooted (In): Thriving in Connection with God, Yourself, and Others
  • Grand Portage
See similar books…
Are you looking for info on how to write fiction and get it published? If so, go here.

If you're curious about who I am and what kinds of books I write, then head to a different website.

I'm an award-winning author, writing coach, and caregiver advocate.

My short story collection, BONDS OF LOVE & BLOOD was a finalist in Foreword Reviews

Related Articles

Diverse voices and sparkling debuts dominate today's contemporary short story collections. For this roundup, we took a look at the...
97 likes · 10 comments