Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: By the Wayside by Anne Leigh Parrish

Short stories are very rarely my thing but occasionally a collection comes along that really works for me. Anne Leigh Parrish's Our Love Could Light the World was one such collection so I was pleased that she had another, although quite different sounding, collection out. Unlike her previous collection, the short pieces in By the Wayside are not interconnected stories but they do hang together thematically and beautifully.

The short stories here feel entirely complete in themselves. The characters are realistic and relatable and their lives are lives that her readers could be living. Each of the main characters of these succinct tales seems straightforward and yet turns out to have more depth and layers than the reader expects at the start. And sometimes this surprising depth is unveiled in a mere sentence. Parrish is, without a doubt, a skilled writer who manages to keep her work accessible (truly no small feat). Her stories are emotional and searching. They center around a female protagonist finding her voice, her power, her truth. Many of the stories address a reality of women's lives (love, professional disregard, adultery, depression, health, friendship and obsession, family and caretaking, sexual abuse, and more) but even in this universality, they manage to surprise without shocking, twisting just perfectly to highlight her characters' own agency. None of the stories is particularly long and because of the clear and simple language, you can zip through the collection in no time at all but you'll want to stop and savor Parrish's ability to surprise, her subtle one-liners, and the strong, impressive women emerging from each story.

For more information about Anne Leigh Parrish and the book, check out her website, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter. Check out the book's Goodreads page, follow the rest of the blog tour, or look at the amazon reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.

Thanks to Lisa from TLC Book Tours and Unsolicited Press for sending me a copy of this book to review.

1 comment:

  1. I always forget that I really do enjoy short stories until I come across a collection like this.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!


I have had to disable the anonymous comment option to cut down on the spam and I apologize to those of you for whom this makes commenting a chore. I hope you'll still opt to leave me your thoughts. I love to hear what you think, especially so I know I'm not just whistling into the wind here at my computer.

Popular Posts