In the follow-up to her bestselling novels, Me before You and After You, author Jojo Moyes has published an eclectic collection of nine short stories each from a woman’s perspective and dealing with a variety of themes from troubled relationships to near magical shoes. The longest story in the set is “Paris for One” and centres on Nell who by her own admission is “not the adventurous type”, but has given up a planned trip to Brighton to have a romantic trip to Paris with her boyfriend, Peter. At the outset it is clear that Peter has no intention of joining her, and instead of following her routine inclinations and cancelling, she embarks for Paris on her own. The weekend does not start promisingly when Nell finds her hotel has double booked her and she spends the first night sharing with a stranger. Preserving she soon discovers the delights of the city and the company of an attractive Frenchman named Fabien.
My favourite tale is “Between the Tweets” and follows a formerly popular TV personality with a squeaky clean image and sinking ratings. Mr. Travis is being trolled on the internet by a woman who claims to have had a spicy relationship with him. The story is a delight about a PR nightmare with an unusual twist.
Each tale in this collection is intriguingly written, and the characters are well drawn (if not necessary all entirely likeable) using dialogue for the most part mixed with subtle narration . Moyes experience as a journalist as well as a fiction writer is evident in the succinct use of description that give the barest of details and leaves much to the reader’s imagination.
This would be a great and quick read for Moyes fans and anyone would relishes the joys of an interesting short story.
“The Factory Voice” is the debut novel by Jeanette Lynes. I’m still reading it and *really* enjoying it. It takes place at in Fort William, Ontario. I just love reading books I can relate to. It starts in December 1941. Sixteen year old Audrey Leona Foley has decided she’s not interested in the marriage plans her parents have for her (they’ve got their eyes set on a ranch hand). After seeing a newspaper ad “Girls wanted to build airplanes in Ontario”, she steals her wedding funds from a cherry jar and leaves the family cattle ranch in Spruce Grove, Alberta. Unknown to Audrey there’s another passenger on the train that’s also headed to the same destination. Muriel McGregor is on her way to her new position as Chief Engineer at Fort William Aviation. She’s 36, single and a polio survivor. After touring the plant she is driven past Vickers Park and talks about the stately homes surrounding it. Meanwhile Audrey asks her cab driver to take her to a hotel and she’s about to check in at the Royal Edward Hotel. This is as far as I’ve read, but I’m already recommending it to friends. I’ll let you know how it turns out…Well I finished it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Among the other characters in the book two others stand out. There’s Ruby Kozak, a former beauty queen now working as a stenographer at the factory. She dreams of being a writer and publishes the company newsletter “The Factory Voice”. And then there’s Florence Voutilainen, she’s a riveter and she lives on Rosslyn Road. Wow. She’s forced to wear a red scarf which signifies her as someone on probation. Florence dreams of wearing a yellow scarf like most of the staff. Between the characters, the language “the bee’s knees” and all the local references, it was easy to visualize and a treat to read. Enjoy.
National Pig Day will soon be upon us. It’s only 7 days away. To clear up any confusion, it’s a day “to accord to the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man’s most intelligent and useful domesticated animals”. In honour of NPD (not to be confused with NDP), lets look at The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell. This book is the first in the Pig Trilogy. Book two The Pig Comes To Dinner is due out in May. NoveList describes the first book as a “whimsical first installment”. Creative writing instructor Aaron McCloud leaves New York to stay with his aunt Kitty in western Ireland. Aaron who is unhappy in love attracts the attention of a lost pig. Things get exciting when the pig digs up the skeleton of a missing man, later identified as Declan Tovey in Kitty’s garden. Kitty blames the pig‘s owner Lolly McKeever for the murder. But Lolly isn’t fessing up to murder. She won’t even admit to owning the pig. (This somehow reminds me of the time my dog followed me to school and into my classroom. When the teacher asked whose dog it was, I didn’t admit it was mine.) So if you’re a mystery buff, a fan of all things Irish, enjoy a romantic comedy or …love pigs, this is the book for you. If you enjoy this book and are looking for more titles featuring swine, check out the NoveList database in our Virtual Collection. A search under the word pigs brings up over 2500 titles. Happy National Pig Day everyone. If you’re in the Brodie Library this week stop by the Reference Department to see our display for NPD. It might give you some ideas to add to your reading list. We even have a flying pig. Enjoy. Karen Piglet