Today’s book review of a single short story is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
Open Door Invitation by Dee Carney
Synopsis: Every single woman knows at least a few basic safety rules. First, don’t talk the strangers. Second, don’t invite strangers into your home. Sometimes, however, a lonely woman gets comfortable and after darkness falls, lets those rules slide. But with the darkness, if one believes in such things, might come creatures of the night. Throw an open door invitation into the mix, and anything can happen… This short story is approximately 3900 words. Now includes bonus content from Hunger Aroused by Dee Carney.
This short story is available via http://www.amazon.com/Open-Door-Invitation-ebook/dp/B007JP85IS and http://www.amazon.co.uk/Open-Door-Invitation-ebook/dp/B007JP85IS etc.
The writing is very ‘purple’ throughout this short story. For those of you who have never heard of the phrase ‘purple prose’, Wikipedia explains thus: ‘In literary criticism, purple prose is prose text that is so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw excessive attention to itself. Purple prose is characterized by the extensive use of adjectives, adverbs, zombie nouns, and metaphors. When it is limited to certain passages, they may be termed purple patches or purple passages, standing out from the rest of the work.’ I just say that it’s writing that tries too hard.
Some of the lines that grated with me included, ‘His voice with rich, deep and reminded me of a truffle I once tried on a dare.’ And that was on page one!
There were however some phrases that I liked including, ‘a strangled squeak a tired couch might make if someone dared bounce on it’.
I guessed the ending about halfway through but it may not be obvious to everyone, especially those who enjoy this style of writing and are concentrating on the plot rather than the writing.
My other problem with this story is that I didn’t care what happened to the main character. She doesn’t come across as very intelligent, although she admits that she is naive.
When I got to the end of the story, I felt as if I had been reading a chapter from Fifty Shades of Grey, although I have only read 64 pages of the second of the trilogy, and really shouldn’t have stuck with it that long.
Therefore, anyone liking that series would probably like this short story, but it wasn’t for me (can you tell?).
Rating: 2 out of 5
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a prolific blogger, podcaster, editor / critiquer, 2015 Head Judge for the annual H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, Head Judge for the NLG Flash Fiction Competition and creative writing tutor for her local county council. She is also a freelance author of numerous ‘dark and light’ short stories, novels, articles, and very occasional dabbler of poetry. Like her, her blog, https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, is consumed by all things literary. She is also active on Twitter, Facebook along with many others (listed on her blog’s Contact page) and has created five online writing groups and an interview-only blog.
Her debut novel is the chick lit eBook The Serial Dater’s Shopping List ($0.99 / £0.77) and she has nine others (mostly crime) in the works. She also has eight collections of short stories available (also $0.99 / £0.77 each) – detailed on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine/short-stories.
*** Breaking news! My online creative writing courses are currently just $1 or £1 ($2)!! ***
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If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.