Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our Love Could Light the World by Anne Leigh Parrish

Morning, all! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Our Love Could Light the World, Anne Leigh Parrish's latest short story collection.

I find a short story collection is really hard to sum up in a synopsis, so here's the back cover copy for you:

You know the Dugans. They’re that scrappy family that lives down the street. Their yard is overgrown, they don’t pick up a fter their dog, their five children run free—leaving chaos in their wake—and the father hasn’t earned a cent in years. The wife holds them together on her income alone. You wouldn’t want them for neighbors—but from a distance, they’re quite entertaining.

Have I mentioned before that I'm a fan of short stories? Of course I have! Many, many times. And for many, many reasons. The biggest reason I'm a fan of short stories - the good ones - is simply because they are good. They also make for great short reads when you're pinched for time. Short stories can be sort of a commitment free way of sampling new-to-you authors. And they're intriguing little snippets of fiction that stand on their own as an entire story with plot and character development. So that last reason that I like them is pretty much that I'm in awe of anyone who can build a short story that makes sense!

In Our Love Could Light the World, Anne Leigh Parrish has put together a collection of shorts that are linked in subject: they're all about the same family - the Dugans. And they're a fantastic set of characters to set stories around. Through Parrish's prose these characters are vivid and whole. They're not pillars of the community but they're not bad folks either. They're just a normal family with normal problems - dad drinks too much, the kids are unruly, and mom longs for something more. Parrish's collection is like peeking through the Dugans' (or any neighbor's to be honest) windows, witnessing pieces of their lives: the crumbling of a marriage, a daughter's disappointing graduation party, the merging of two families, and the pain of being an adolescent.

The stories are funny and heartbreaking, thoughtful and - as the cover copy states - entertaining. Overall, these stories are a great showcase for an author who has a clear talent for storytelling.

Rating: 4.5/5

To see more stops on the tour check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Anne Leigh Parrish and her work, visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.


Kelly said...

I do not read enough short stories! This was looks like something I would really like, especially since you wrote that it's like getting a glimpse into these families' lives.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I love that the author features the same characters in each story - it's a great way to follow their lives and get different perspectives!

Thanks for being on the tour.