Today’s book review of a short story collection 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.
Paperchase and Other Stories by Helen Yendall
Synopsis: Paperchase And Other Stories by Helen Yendall, is a collection of 12 uplifting tales about family life and finding love in unexpected places. All of the stories have either been published before and/or have been placed in competitions.
This collection is available via http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paperchase-Other-Stories-Helen-Yendall-ebook/dp/B00S5AAPZW or http://www.amazon.com/Paperchase-Other-Stories-Helen-Yendall-ebook/dp/B00S5AAPZW.
Review (via my Kindle’s text-to-speech function)
Knitting for Zambia – I always love stories set at libraries so this was going to be a winner from the start. I have worked in retail on and off over the years so I know all about awkward customers but we learn why she is the way she is, and that it’s never too late to change. An unlikely charming story.
White Lilies – Another story to pull at the heartstrings. My father suffered with dementia so this was bound to hit home but it was beautifully written, so fond memories rather than sad ones.
A Certain Someone – the heroine of this story reminded me of the hero’s mother in Alan Titchmarsh’s novel Rosie (which I reviewed – see https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/book-review-for-readers-and-writers-no-98-morgen-bailey-reviews-rosie-by-alan-titchmarsh – on Valentine’s Day 2015!). She’s got guts and I love that in a character and can understand why Woman’s Weekly published it.
My Very Educated Mother – this story is typical of family life and I love the descriptions, especially of what comes through the letterbox and ‘There’s flour on the floor, in her fringe and on her knees. I don’t think she’s a complete failure as a mother, but she can’t cook.’ That sounds like me! First person stories can be difficult to get the narrator’s name in but we have it on the first (Kindle) page when she goes to lick out the mixing bowl but her mother shouts at her and uses her name. Because there is a boy called Andrew visiting, I assumed the narrator was male so it was handy to have that clarified early on. The dilemma is that Andrew has gone missing and we find out the family dynamic and what the issues are. An ‘ah’ ending.
Love ’em and leave ’em – this story, or at least part of it, is scarily close to home (the main character’s relationship, especially the bit about the kitchen!) and although I related to the main character in some instances, I didn’t gel too much with her.
The Curse of the Sheep Baby – I am a big title fan and I love this one. The significance of the title soon becomes clear and it is very clever. I was a little confused as the story develops but the ending skillfully clarified it.
Accidents will happen – most women’s stories have humour running through them and I really liked the joke about putting her foot down in this one. There are often annoying characters and while some don’t mean to be, i.e. the writer doesn’t mean them to be but the reader find them annoying, our narrator Jan finds a new colleague annoying, and I can see why, but other characters don’t find her like that and it’s not long before we (the reader) feel the same. Angie, the annoying colleague, has a coaster which I have given as presents before: ‘You will always be my friend. You know too much’. This story is the template for feel-good stories.