Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Island Fog by John Vanderslice

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for John Vanderslice's short story collection, Fog Island.

John Vanderslice's collection features eleven tales centered around the island of Nantucket and the people who live there. The first half are historical, the rest are set present day (more or less) and all of them excel in giving the reader a strong sense of the island and its residents.

From early whalers and their widows, Quakers, Congregationlists, and Native Americans to a widowed plumber, an expectant father, and more, Vanderslice offers up snapshots of life through the eyes of a variety of Nantucketers. Stories like "On Cherry Street" and "Morning Meal" offer up nice parallels - in the former, a wife resigns herself to widowhood and finds that she's maybe not as stricken about it as she should be. In the latter tale, however, a man reexamines and possibly refuses to accept the realities of his own widowhood.

I liked some stories more than others - "Guilty Look" was a personal favorite - but all of them are strongly character driven. Even the island itself becomes a character of a sort as the overall theme and connection between each piece.

Island Fog feels a bit voyeuristic in its offerings (like peeking through a neighbor's window or reading someone's diary). It's also a thought-provoking read, especially in the case of stories like "King Philips War." With the collection, Vanderslice proves he is a strong writer with a talent for connecting his readers to his characters.

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


Tammy Sparks said...

This sounds like an interesting collection! I don't read enough short story collections, so I might add this one to the list:-)

John Vanderslice said...

Thank so much for reading my book and going to the trouble to write the thoughtful review. I really appreciate your comments.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

That feeling of peeking in on someone's life can be both uncomfortable and compelling for me as a reader. I'm excited to read this collection and experience it for myself!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.