It Happened at the Ball Paperback – September 21, 2018
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- Publisher : Book View Cafe (September 21, 2018)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1611387531
- ISBN-13 : 978-1611387537
- Item Weight : 1.04 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,183,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Honestly, I should have known better. As a unifying topic, it stands as a reminder not to wear blinders. The concept of a dance is sometimes touched on in a most abstract way, but all of these stories do reach it, abstractly or not. Two of them stay with me even now: " Kerygma in Waltz Time," by Charlotte Gumanaam, twists time and point of view and the idea of really immersing oneself in story, and had me emailing a friend begging her to buy this anthology, because I really want to know what she thinks about it. And "The Dress," by Lynne April Brown, is just a jewel of a short story, perfect in every way, that takes the theme of several fairy tales and turns them inside out and upside down. O. Henry would not be ashamed of this one.
Some of these stories are excerpts from longer works, and understanding and appreciating them and their characters properly really needs that context, but they manage to be interesting nonetheless. Overall, though, it's a really, really good anthology, and I recommend it highly.
The story that really stood out for me was Kerygma in Waltz Time, by Charlotte Gumanaam. It’s got serious pacing issues, in a classic early-career writer sort of way (I don’t think Gumanaam has published anything else. The ideas the characters are discussing seriously drag down the pace of the story. But such ideas, and such a cool central conceit! I don’t know if I want more to buy her first book or take her out for a drink.
Another commenter noted that several of these come from longer works, and you can tell; they are very good short stories, but the world building in stories by Marie Brennan, Irene Radford and Sherwood Smith herself is so fully imagined that the stories are very good advertisement for the works they relate to. Layla Lawfo d’s Story might be one of these too, though here it’s less about the world and more about the depth of the relationship between the two main characters.
Another favorite of mine is The Gown of Harmonies, by Francesca Forrest. This one feels complete in itself rather than a part of something bigger, and it’s a jewel.