G.J. Griffiths's Reviews > Acquainted With Butterflies: A Collection of Short Stories, Personal Essays & Poetry

Acquainted With Butterflies by J.C. Wing
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it was amazing
bookshelves: amusing, contemp-fiction, my-reviews, poetry, ya
Read 2 times. Last read October 1, 2018 to November 12, 2018.

I have read collections of short stories and collections of poetry before and usually enjoyed them, since they more often contain works by well-known and favourite writers of mine. Admittedly they were less likely to be contemporary writers of my own and more recent generations but the main attraction for me was being able to dip in and out, looking for, and often finding, snippets of experiences and emotions with which I could identify. So when I came to read J.C. Wing’s book it was with a mixture of pleasure and trepidation. I have read and enjoyed everything that I have read from this gifted author who conveys things so clearly; events, characters and their innermost feelings and fears. But the problem for me was that “Butterflies” also contained autobiographical and personal recollections from J.C. and I’m not all that keen on that kind of writing any more. This was mainly because so often the reader usually discovers in a biography, or even a memoir type of book, that your idol had feet of clay and you wind up not liking them very much. I feared that might happen here.

As usual with a J.C. Wing book I came to the end of it thinking, “Well that was well worth the time spent reading it!” In fact there were many stories and poems that I will go back to and read again. In particular I liked: the surprise twist in Cold Feet and in The Old Switcheroo; the humour of Letters to the Couch; and the poems, Reflections and I Know, which were full of pathos and sharp observation. However, much to my surprise, I found three of J.C.’s essays about her relationship with her father incredibly moving because of her bravery and candour. Some Things Just Are; The Gift of Music; and My Dad and Elvis Presley felt somehow polemical to me, which reminded me of one of my most favourite of authors, George Orwell in how he writes in The Road to Wigan Pier and Burmese Days for example. His writing is so clear and, at first sight, coldly clinical but then the underlying passion comes through as one ponders his words later. That same sense of awareness comes through with Wing’s intimate recollections.

J.C. Wing is a most talented writer and must carry on writing so that the rest of the world may eventually discover her. I would love to see her apply her talent to some of the big issues in the world, such as climate change, population growth, pollution of the Earth and misguided politics for a start. This is a most thought provoking collection and I shall return to it again and again, I’ve no doubt; highly recommended.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 1, 2018 – Started Reading
November 12, 2018 – Finished Reading
November 14, 2018 – Shelved
November 14, 2018 – Shelved as: amusing
November 14, 2018 – Shelved as: contemp-fiction
November 14, 2018 – Shelved as: my-reviews
November 14, 2018 – Shelved as: poetry
November 14, 2018 – Shelved as: ya

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