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Fur Coat & No Knickers Paperback – December 7, 2016
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Some stories are thought provoking, such as A Married Man, when thoughtless actions can cause unforeseen and tragic repercussions. George and Mildred is a lovely story of the start of a mature romance, which benefits from a little canine help, while Heir Apparent is a tale of manipulation. A Seed of Doubt has a supernatural twist. The very poignant and touching A Visit at Christmas. An involved Irish family drama within The Messenger, the longest of the stories….I could go on…I enjoyed each one.
All the stories very cleverly incorporate an individual twist and/or message, some include flashes of humour and each one explores the distinct nuances of human nature and behaviour.
And sandwiched in between are a delightful selection of poems.
Extract from Another Time
'What other world is this I’ve seen
Twixt then and now, and in between?
What shaft of light revealed a crack
Of somewhere else, of time gone back?
What slice of life, that’s gone before
Was glimpsed beyond an open door?
How can the stranger, I’ve just met
Be someone known, I can’t forget?
Familiar, warm, yet fresh and new
I wonder if you felt it too?'
I’ve enjoyed each of Adrienne Vaughan’s full length novels very much, and this collection only emphasises the author’s wonderful storytelling ability and writing skills.
I chose to read and review Fur Coat & No Knickers based on a copy of the book supplied by the author/publisher.
The stories are well-crafted and touching representations of people's reactions to death and bereavement, hurtful lies, keeping up appearances, and complex personal and family relationships, all including unique and engaging characters you'll easily recognise or identify with. There are also poems to introduce each story.
George and Mildred, which is my second favourite in the collection, is a beautiful story of second chances, mature love, and the need to have wise and helpful pets!
Lemon Bag, introduces us to a woman who has decided to take charge of her life, with the help of her new bag and a long journey.
Heir Apparent is a poignant story of manipulative lies, and unscrupulous people who take advantage of others,
The Adventuress is another favourite. It's about a woman, torn between two men, and a supportive father who is supportive and respectful of her decisions.
A Seed of Doubt is a wonderful ghost story about grief, misunderstandings, forgiveness and second chances.
A Married Man is a tragic story of a despicable liar and a naive young girl. It includes the cruelest villain and the most innocent and pitiful heroine.
Fur Coat and No Knickers, the story which gives the title to this collection is about keeping up false appearances, lies, jealousy, unrequited love and the inevitability of death.
The Retiring Type is a hilarious, yet poignant story about old age and betrayal.
A Visit at Christmas is my favourite. For me it’s the most touching and romantic. It is a beautiful love story set at Christmas, between a younger man and an older woman.
The Proper Thing is about a man who has just died and left behind two wives who meet for the first time. Heart-breaking, but it has an optimistic ending.
The Messenger is a complex family drama and saga, set in Ireland, which could easily become a complete novel.
There is a lot of grief and bereavement in these stories, as well as devastating lies and destructive pretentiousness, but there is also a great deal of love, forgiveness, and second chances. Not all of the stories have happy or even satisfactory endings, but there is optimism and hope in the future in most of them. The characters who are able to face the reality of their situation and move on are offered a new opportunities.
A wonderful collection of stories to be read and reread.
But they do work, and they work very well indeed. Ms Vaughan is a wonderful story-teller, and there are some wonderful stories here. These stories are character-driven, and the author has a real skill for drawing characters that are relatable and realistic; to build these characters so well and so clearly in such few words, and to make you care about a character that you only spend a few pages with is quite an accomplishment.
Stand outs for me were ‘Heir Apparent’, a story of deception with a little twist in the tail; ‘The Messenger’, which I feel could be developed into something longer; and ‘A Married Man’ which has a surprisingly dark edge.
A lovely book to dip in and out of, and perfect for a little bit of escapism.
4.5 out of five stars
The book is made up of twelve short stories and sixteen poems, tales and adventures from a wide selection of everyday lives of people, families and friends. It is often said that other people's complex relationships make your own problems fade away, so this is a good book to escape into even for a short time.
I enjoyed the stories, some of my favourites were; Fur coat and No knickers, A seed of Doubt and A visit at Christmas. From the poems I especially enjoyed A pink Day.
Another good example of story telling from this popular author.