Such is Life: Short Stories Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
As fiction, writers have more leeway to write from our inner worlds. It's clear that Jeri reaches deep to pull out angst and trials to fund the people in these stories. In the depth of what could be some desperation, you'll come away with the essence of hope. Hope that these people have moved beyond a circumstance and into a better space. Loving New Orleans, the descriptions of the city as roamed by a psychotic housewife were vivid and alive. Give the book a whirl and see what you think about the worlds created.
Note to fellow Christian readers that there is language and sexual situations you may not like.
I had to keep reading. I recognized the naïve but jaded teen-ager Julie from “Pretty Girl” as well as the other characters in the collection: John and Katrina from “Leaving Big Sky,” two people desperate to change the current dead-end course of their future; Shirley and her beloved but overly protective dog Marty in “For the Love of Dog,” both strangely co-dependent (although you can understand why Marty is overprotective of Shirley. She’s what stands between him and certain death); Marinza in “River Walk,” the young mom in New Orleans going rapidly insane in part because she just can’t play the part that everyone wants her to play. That’s only four stories. The fifth (middle) story, “Not Terribly Important,” is I suspect more nonfiction than fiction, more memoir than coincidental. But I don’t know the author personally so I can’t say and it’s not relevant. Let’s assume it is fiction. Then we have a meta-story (which is indeed relevant): a story of the stories in the collection. Ms. Trip is a high school English teacher in a Mormon community who suddenly finds herself challenged by the powers that be (parents) when her students start reading her collection of short stories, Such is Life. She had already crossed some boundaries with her choice of underwear becoming known, albeit unintentionally, to the denizens of the community. You suspect early on that Ms. Trip will not last long in the claustrophobic confines of this small, insular community.
I do enjoy dark stories that illuminate the lives of people who are struggling just to get from one day to the next. I used to be one of them. I’m thrilled when I come across an author who can tell these stories and share with readers the humanity that is still there, if you can just look past the weed and sweat, the dead-end jobs and needles, the willful descent into fatalism and madness. Sometimes that is the only way open.
This collection of stories is definitely literary realism as its best.
To reiterate, Jeri summarized how our surroundings can stir our literary creativity. She then illustrated how she used her own familiar landscapes to springboard her first series of short stories, titled Such Is Life.
Working my way through my vast and unending reading queue, I finally had the opportunity and pleasure to read Jeri's stories. I don't know Jeri personally but her writing seems too gritty and realistic for fiction. It's the kind writing I enjoy--little slices of life with simple people, a conflict but not always a resolution because real life rarely doles out a perfect ending.
I was worried what would happen to Shirley's dog Marty after he chewed up the neighbor's poodle.
I was surprised that things didn't work out for Katrina and John but he probably did the right thing. He really didn't need her toxic drama.
I cringed at the idea of young Julie climbing into a stranger's car and found myself more than a little peeved at her mother's neglect.
And although I'm not a religious person, as a parent I found myself reluctantly agreeing with the parents of Ms. Trip's students who felt that their teacher probably shouldn't be publishing stories about drugs and sex. And I applaud Ms. Trip for perusing her dream, which is indeed "very important."
My favorite story was "River Walk." Written in first person, it is the narration of a woman on the edge of reality, or maybe on the other side. It is so well-written, so full of sensory details and numbed pain, I'm jealous that I haven't been able to pull off something remotely this good.
"I would like it to rain gumdrops. I would like to be elsewhere. I would like my vices to suffice."
Brilliant stuff you guys, trust me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found her stories a bit Updikey and Joyce Carol Oatesy, a bit raw, a...Read more
I don't know where to begin. For the most part, I've lead a sheltered life so these characters freaked me out!Read more
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