Thursday, July 17, 2014

No Longer and Not Yet by Joanna Clapps Herman

Hi, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Joanna Clapps Herman's short story collection, No Longer and Not Yet.

In this interconnected series of stories, Joanna Clapps Herman illustrates the everyday. The pieces of life one might take for granted. The relationships all around us. Tess travels Italy with a new lover, Max. Back home, her friend Naomi makes a big life change. Olivia faces the loss of her brother. Upon their return, Max faces the reality of new love. Clapps Herman offers up a look at these characters and more, giving readers a glimpse into the stories that surround us. 

All of the stories progress in a way that is somewhat atypical of a short story collection. Generally each piece would stand on its own with little or no return to the characters you've met in previous tales. Here we return again and again to the characters already introduced, catching bits and pieces here and there. This is a benefit, I think, to No Longer and Not Yet because otherwise it would be exactly the kind of short stories I don't enjoy. Instead, where there's no question that this is a collection of connected shorts, it can somewhat be read as a novel. You get more of a look at each character along the way. And so a look at the more mundane aspects of life does somehow become a more encompassing look at these people's lives.

Joanna Clapps Herman has a knack for drawing the reader's attention to small details while not being overly verbose (as you might expect by my pointing out the small details). And while there's something there, the collection did miss the mark a bit for me as a reader. I have to say, however, it's been getting really positive reviews on the tour and I'd highly encourage you to check out those other reviews. No Longer and Not Yet is likely a Goldilocks book - for some it'll be too big and others it'll be too little, but for many it'll be just right.  

Rating: 3/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here. For more on Joanna Clapps Herman and her work be sure to visit her website here.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.