Bought 13 Dec 2008 – author’s signing table in WHSmiths

The winner of the Book For Birmingham competition (and also a finalist in the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Awards) and the lovely author I met quite by accident down the High Street last week.

I enjoyed this collection of intriguing tales. The voices were differentiated, whether a set of sisters bound together by guilt and secrecy in the first three, linked, stories, or lads, lonely wives or older women. The stories are intriguing because often they show the path leading up to a big decision, but not the outcome of the decision itself; I don’t like ends to be tied up too tightly so I liked this aspect a lot. Of course, it was marvellous to see my city lovingly described in print. Much like in Astonishing Splashes of Colour, the normal urban landscape – the Bristol Road, Broad Street, is paid as much attention as the wild seascapes of rural Ireland or the bright prettiness of the South of France.

I liked this a lot and I’m glad we’re going to invite the author to visit the Birmingham BookCrossers next year. I’d like to see a full-length novel by this author next!