Sunday, May 3, 2020

Book Review: Oh, My Darling by Shaena Lambert (short story collection)

Relationships come in all shapes and sizes in Shaena Lambert's ten story collection.

All but three of the stories in Oh, My Darling are set in BC. As a proud Gulf Islander, I was delighted to discover that The Wind--a story with a heart-breaking conclusion--is set on Galiano Island. The other locations are Germany, the United Kingdom and Greece.

Artists and activists and senior citizens and... the stories are peopled with a diverse cast of characters. The most unique--a cancerous lump. Oh, My Darling--the story that gives the collection its name--is a call to action. The message:  you can beat cancer, you can survive, but you need to have courage, you need to be strong. You need to use all your resources including the power of your imagination.

The collection ends on a high with the story of a married couple vacationing in Delphi. Once again I was impressed with author Shaena Lambert's creativity. This time in how she formatted the story. First focusing on the wife, then the husband, then the wife again and so on. The couple have travelled to Delphi to celebrate the wife's fiftieth birthday. A milestone... A time to take stock of the past and make plans for the future. Maya, the wife, racks her brain attempting to come up with the perfect question to ask the oracle in the temple on top of the mountain. I love the last lines of this story:  'And they did. Down the hill, together.' (p. 197)

Oh, My Darling there is much to love in this clever collection.

Published by HarperCollins Publishers
Published in 2013

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What makes me smile...

Usually, in order to attend a literary event I have to hop on a ferry and spend the night in Vancouver. But things have changed...

This week I attended all these informative and entertaining literary events from the comfort of my writing chair.

Author Susin Nielsen reading her latest middle grade novel 
No Fixed Address 
on Twitter

Historical Fiction:  Our View From Here
a panel of six authors (organized by Genevieve Graham with Kristin Harmel, Roxanne, Ellen Keith, Jennifer Robson, Julia Kelly) talking about one of my favourite genres historical fiction 
on Facebook

Marjorie Celona's talking about her newly released book 
How a Woman Becomes a Lake 
on Facebook

Voices of Place:  Short Fiction for a New Decade
a panel of three authors talking about short fiction--I love short fiction 
on Facebook

Penguin Books:  At Home with Penguin
This week I visited Anthony Horowitz
This is a continuing series. Each week you get to visit an author in their home.
on Facebook

HarperCollins:  Historical Fiction Talk
Beatriz Williams and Stephen P Kierman
on Facebook 

Making a writing career out of your hobby or day job
with Roz Morris
This is a continuing series. Ever so often, Roz shares something about writing. Subscribe to her blog so you don't miss a podcast.

All writer events were free. And this introvert doesn't feel exhausted, at all.

photo by ldyck