Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Short Story Collection/Flash Fiction Collection
Approximate word count: 20-25,000 words
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The author of six novels, Laurie Boris is a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader as well as a regular contributor to Indies Unlimited. Her book Sliding Past Vertical was the winner in the Contemporary Fiction category of BigAl’s Books and Pals 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards. Laurie lives with her husband in upstate New York.
For more, visit Laurie’s website.
“A lonely neighbor tries to melt a widow’s reluctant heart. Bullying brothers threaten to spoil a young girl’s Halloween. Left at the altar once, a woman takes a gamble on a second chance. These are just a few in a collection of thirty short and shorter stories about growing up, growing older, moving out, moving on, revenge, redemption, and love in all its shades of bittersweet pain and joy.”
I sometimes find reviewing short story collections problematic. With thirty stories ranging from a couple hundred to a couple thousand words, mentioning each is going to take way too many of my own words. Whatever theme might loosely tie all of these together is handled in the subtitle and book description. That leaves me with overall impressions of what is a diverse collection, and hitting on a few high points.
Overall the stories are solid, good reads. While the underlying themes are serious, some have an amusing twist. One example is the story called Outside the Box about a woman trying to get her fiance to spread his wings. He does, but it might not have worked out as well as she thought. I found many of the shorter, flash fiction pieces finished open-ended, which has the effect of lengthening the piece as the reader ponders where the characters might have gone from there. My favorite of the collection was Adam the Explorer. While the impact wouldn't be the same for those who haven't read Boris' “Trager Family Secrets” series, those who have will recognize two characters from that series in a pivotal point from their boyhood.
Some adult language and situations.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars