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Elly Fisher, the central character in Kusel's debut collection of 10 linked stories, leads an active life of romantic adventure (mainly on the West Coast), but lacks insight or wit. In the first story, "Juvenile Hall," Elly shares uninspired entries from the diary she kept as an adolescent: "I went to the bus stop and talked to a really cute guy named Doug. He lives down the street from us. He was wearing shorts and a T-shirt and flip-flops." This passage's banality sets the tone for letters Elly later receives from boyfriends and a journal she keeps in her 20s. Traveling in Germany, she writes, "I'm hungry, but nobody speaks English, so I don't know how to order." In "Bars," the protagonist clingingly falls in love with a man seeking an independent woman; "Bones" finds her recalling her "almost love" affair with another woman. At book's end, Naomi, a bored new mother, finds Elly's diary at a garage sale, reads it, and tracks her down. Elly becomes Naomi's romantic guru and offers advice like "Just don't assume you should be looking for something you can't find right here." The book's patched-together structure and shallow characters make for a disappointing first effort.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Kusel's debut falls halfway between a novel and a story collection; Elly Fisher figures into all 10 stories in some way or another, but she's not always the central character. Elly's intense search for love is always a factor in the stories, whether she's bemoaning a recent break-up or pursuing a new conquest. In "Prairie Dogs," Lydia, a young woman who has been hired to paint a mural at a rich senator's ranch, watches as Elly waltzes in and flirts with Wade, the man she has a crush on. Wade just happens to be the brother of the man who brought Elly to the ranch in the first place. Tom, a researcher at the San Diego Zoo, becomes infatuated with Elly until he learns firsthand how clingy she can be, in "Bars." In the final story, "The Other Side," a young mother finds Elly's diary from her postcollegiate European trip and goes to meet the older, possibly wiser Elly. An intriguing look at a young woman's quest for fulfillment, love, and maturity. Kristine Huntley
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I was surprised how much I liked this book. Its a collection of 10 stories that all have the same character, a woman named Elly. Read morePublished on June 28, 2005 by Cynthia
Other Fish in the Sea not only brings back memories of my 20's but the journey involved in discovering contentment and possibly the love of our life. Read morePublished on April 21, 2005 by E. Parker
I wasn't greatly happy with these stories when I first started the book, but it becomes apparent that the character building is weak initially because it's all filled in with the... Read morePublished on December 21, 2003 by owookiee
I found this book by chance. I was intrigued by the title. I could not put it down. I was laughing, crying and watching Elly grow. Read morePublished on November 19, 2003 by Lover of Books
I enjoyed following Elly along for the ride as she embarks on one of the greatest quests of these times- finding love. Read morePublished on October 25, 2003 by L. Vodicka
Exhilarating and witty! "Other Fish in the Sea", a collection of short stories is a book you won't want to put down. Read morePublished on September 25, 2003