Genre: Short Story Collection
“Sadie says we have to leave …
With those few urgent words, the journey begins for this couple—from their chance encounter freshman year awaiting their college dorm assignments, through all of the roadblocks and detours and dead ends, until some thirty years later when they finally understand where they are meant to be. All The Things She Says is a chronicle, recounted in vignettes and episodes, of the course these two take in their relationship, told from the point of view of Sadie’s spouse, who witnesses firsthand, and often helplessly, the struggles and travails Sadie endures in trying to find herself with the constant fear that time is slipping away. Yet in the end, they arrive at a plan—the plan Sadie first had in that freshman dorm room.
Initially published nonsequentially in literary journals and magazines over a span of more than seven years, these sixteen short stories are now assembled into one complete collection. All The Things She Says is a discourse on life and love and commitment, and shows that while the path may be difficult to follow, the destination is nonetheless worthwhile.”
“Peter J. Stavros is a writer and playwright in Louisville, Kentucky, and the author of Three in the Morning and You Don’t Smoke Anymore, winner of the Etchings Press 2020 Book Prize for a Chapbook of Prose. Other works by him include the short story collection, (Mostly) True Tales From Birchmont Village.
A former reporter for the Associated Press, Peter has published his writing in literary journals, magazines, newspapers and anthologies …”
As the description explains, this short story collection tells the story of a narrator’s relationship with Sadie, his friend when they first meet, later becoming a girlfriend and eventually his spouse. While each story stands on its own, since all sixteen stories in the collection were published elsewhere over several years before being gathered together in the collection, the progression of the stories also tells the realistic tale of a relationship and how it can evolve through the years, changing and hopefully getting stronger over time.
Another thing I noticed was that as Sadie and the narrator’s relationship evolved, they were also dealing with the positives and negatives of aging. One line that especially hit home for me said “Sadie’s been in a funk, feeling gravity’s pull, and it doesn’t help that her rock’n’roll heroes keep dying.” I knew where Sadie was coming from on that one. A quick, yet thought provoking read.
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Some adult language.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 20-25,000 words