2014 – November 21 – The Retreat
On the 21st we’re reading “The Retreat,” by Mandy Nicol.
Mum’s being so nice, so solicitous, so unlike herself, that I don’t want to force the facts on her. So I thank her for breakfast and say yes, I might stay in bed a little longer.
She thinks Charlie dumped me. She’s wrong, it was me who dumped Charlie.
This series has primarily been a war of wills (and won’ts) between Nadia and her mum. Last month saw the addition of a wild card as Nadia’s brother, Anthony, returned to save the family farm. Olive trees. That’s the answer to everything. While I was rooting for Nadia, I’m afraid it was Continue reading
2014 – November 20 – Nørthærn Lights
On the 20th we’re reading “Nørthærn Lights” by Sally-Anne Macomber.
To: Milton Flaxmill, Red Cow Publishing
Bcc: Leonard Strauss Jr., Red Cow Publishing
From: Trudy Polaris
Date: November 20, 2014 2: 06 p.m.
Re: Hilsænær frå Øslø!
Årt hås triümphæd øvær cømmærcæ!
I always look forward to the 20th and reading the latest exploits of our intrepid Trudy Polaris who truly understands the writer’s mantra: “Persistence trumps talent.” Last month she used subliminal messaging to bring Milton around. This month she resorts to a more direct approach.
Læåving thæ Tyrøl wås væry dråmåtic. I snück øüt in thæ dæåd øf night! I tøøk sævæn gøåts with mæ , høming gøåts tråinæd Continue reading
2014 – November 19 – Returns
It’s the 19th, time for “Returns” by Gay Degani.
Mars slicks back his hair, damp from his shower, checks the thoroughness of his shave in the mirror, straightens his frayed denim shirt. Not bad, he thinks. The best he can do in a place like this. He misses Rita . At least , he misses her house, her hot tub, her bed. He grimaces, shakes his head. Better get going.
I’ve admired the Old Road series since its opening installment and have not been disappointed yet. What began as a story about a storm and the devastation it left behind, to both landscape and relationships, has become a riveting murder mystery. Continue reading
2014 – November 18 – Stand Up
The 18th brings “Stand Up” by Stephen V. Ramey (reviewed by Andrew Stancek).
James Joyce’s “Araby”, arguably one of the greatest stories of the 20th century, ends with “gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.” This month’s instalment of Stephen V. Ramey’s saga has an extremely similar epiphany:
“Everything crashes at once, the sky, my anger, the Stand Up sign, it’s all falling around me, shrapnel from an explosion I never dreamed possible. She’s right. Exactly right.”
Stephen’s running is done. Through the intervention of Mystery in last month’s chapter, he is back with Anne, accepting Continue reading
2014 – November 17 – Live With That
It’s the 17th and we’re reading “Live With That” by Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz.
He just has to move the boxes out onto the porch for Goodwill to pick up later in the week. Then Aaron will go get Phil for the meeting.
This series has been memorable for its bold humor and character chemistry. Last month I wrote: “One thing we do know is that the time for laughing is over. ” November’s very short segment places an exclamation point at the end of that sentence. Though it also cleverly leaves just a bit of wiggle room for us to wonder what will happen next.
It’s quite an effective tidbit. I’m betting Continue reading
2014 – November 16 – The Weight of Sadness
It’s the 16th, and we’re reading “The Weight of Sadness” by James Claffey.
The Tepper twist: “Oh, dear Bird! Where there’s life there is hope.”]
Weeks of constant drizzle have the Bird in the doldrums. The darkened days of the butt-end of the year might as well be a giant wet blanket as far as he’s concerned. Only the other evening he was polishing the brasses on the front door when the streetlight bulb went out, leaving him completely in the dark, the tin of Brasso in one hand and the dirty cloth in the other.
This is another series with which I have fallen in (grammatically correct) love. Mood Continue reading
2014 – November 15 – Eleventh Inning
It’s the 15th, and we’re reading “Tenth Inning” by Michael Webb.
It has been a long Saturday, shopping and music lessons and soccer and a doctor’s appointment putting us at loose ends and on opposite sides of our suburb. Angela’s suggestion of a local restaurant for dinner brought enthusiastic responses. We find our way there separately, and after the customary fussing about seating and ordering and bathroom visits, we manage to get dinner into all four of us. The early round of the playoffs is playing on a television in the corner, and I follow it with distant interest. People assume I watch baseball when I’m not playing, but it’s often the last Continue reading