Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In the Middle of Almost and Other Stories

by: S.B. Lerner

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
An engrossing collection of funny, poignant and bittersweet stories about busy young women who find men in all the wrong places (the garage attendant across the street, the stay-at-home dad in the playground, the younger man at the diner counter) and discover something about themselves in the process.

The stories speak to the curiosities and actual experiences of many city dwellers...A cross between anonymity and 'what-ifs'.

The short stories and memoir were previously published in literary magazines and newspapers.

This is a VERY fast read. In fact, I would call it flash fiction rather than short stories.

I really enjoyed every story. They were romantic in nature, but not the happy ending kind. More the reality kind. Where that warm and fuzzy feeling either isn't there or it isn't enough. There was one story about a recently widowed mother. I recognized the lost feeling as she's sitting at the park she thinks:
Watching my four-year-old son isn't exactly work, but neither is it relaxation. It's like being a sentry in peacetime - it's important, but there's not much to do.
The book includes 5 short stories, an excerpt from a novel and 2 short memoirs. Both deal with her parents survival of the holocaust. Her father was so much older when she saw the pain it caused him. The following quote is from when the author, as an adult walks into her father's office and spots him, looking at photos from his youth back in Poland.
"Did anyone else survive?"
He kind of shrugged at first. "No...well, I was just looking at them..."

The book read very fast, but it was all really good. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good chick lit, but can live without the "love conquers all" type themes. It really was refreshing.

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