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As a long-time fan of southern fiction, I'm ecstatic to have discovered Ellen Gilchrist. This collection is comprised mostly of stories about Rhoda Manning, a southern woman, daughter of a classic patriarch (Burt Lancaster, John Huston, you'd have been perfect for the role)who struggles to be loved, and carries that struggle through her childhood and adult life. I've learned that Gilchrist pulblished a novel length collection called Rhoda, with other stories of this character. In addition are a handful of other stories with topics as varied as a terrorist cell pursuing a bookstore owner, discovered by a nosy upper-east-side condo association president; to a young pair of lovers dealing with an unwanted pregnancy in the face of southern mores and parental ambitions. I've debated whether this writing is more character or plot driven; the wonderful reality is that the characters are beautifully and truthfully drawn, and the stories riveting and poignant. In addition, the reading is superlative. I've been to the library to pick up all the Ellen Gilchrist I can carry home, I only wish there was more on audio in her wonderful throaty voice. Enjoy.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This book turned out to be more of a contemporary novel than I expected. Most of the stories surround Rhoda Manning, one as a child, but all of the others as a grown woman dealing with family "issues." The writer is very talented and a few of the stories clearly demonstrate her range. The narrator is very good, but her cracking voice kept reminding me of Julie Kavner aka Marge Simpson.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful