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Springtime on Mars Paperback – February 29, 2008
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
Top Customer Reviews
Charming, deceptively simple, and utterly American, many of these tales depict the country at the brink of change and huge scientific advances. Others show the struggle between faith in God and faith in science. Ranging from the introduction of the television into our living rooms, to the Kennedy assassination, to the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, Springtime on Mars holds up a mirror and shows us not only who we were, but who we are.
Woodring breathes life into her characters so quickly- within a few short paragraphs you fully grasp who they are. I was perhaps most touched and completely caught off guard by the story Beautiful, in which a father is staying in a hotel, apart from his family, on an extended business trip. His wife and daughters come down for a visit, but there are huge walls of silence and misunderstanding. He realizes his 13 year old didn't want to make the trip; she seems embarrassed and unsure of how to act around her dad. He then remembers how it used to be:
"When she was little, though, she used to cup his face in her hands and draw it very close to her own. Listen, she would say. There's a crisis on planet Gimbel and we have to go there now. "
Throughout that story, I was rooting for the dad so much. I kept thinking, Do something! You're going to lose your family! The relief I felt when he finally took some action to connect with his kids is hard to describe.Read more ›
Woodring sets the tone for each story very quickly, and although the emotions felt by the characters range from love to grief to bewilderment to disappointment, I was able to really get into the characters' shoes and feel what they were feeling. I think Woodring's biggest talent is the believability she brings to her characters. Her words literally breathe life into the characters in the stories, and by the end of a few pages, they were no longer just characters, they were people whose stories I had come to really care about. If you want to go beyond basic descriptive terms in your writing and really get to the heart of your characters, you will learn a lot by reading Springtime on Mars. And if you're looking for a group of short stories that keep you interested and entertained, look no further! Susan Woodring is definitely a writer to watch!
I am not generally a fan of short stories, I often cannot stay interested in a set of characters I know will only be around for 20 pages or so. However, "Springtime on Mars" kept me wanting to see what characters Woodring was going to introduce next. I was more invested in "Springtime on Mars" than I have been with any collection of short stories since "Interpreter of Maladies." The subjects, and even the writing styles, of the two books are very different, but the heart is the same. I would recommend "Springtime on Mars" to fans of short stories as well as to those who would like to give short stories a try.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The following is an excerpt of a review for "Radio Vision," a story included in the collection SPRINGTIME ON MARS. Read morePublished on October 19, 2009 by Cat Bird
Springtime on Mars is an amazing collection of stories by an author who has the insight to create characters that are complex and touching. Read morePublished on September 6, 2008 by K. Haggerty