Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review: "I Knew You'd Be Lovely" by Alethea Black

Short story fans, or those who simply love great fiction writing, go out and pick up Alethea Black's magnificent story collection (or download it onto your eReader), I Knew You'd Be Lovely. I read this collection in one day and nearly every story left me moved beyond words, intrigued, amused, or simply amazed at Black's abilities. (And sometimes more than one of those happened simultaneously!)

The characters in each of Black's stories are at some sort of emotional crossroads. In the incredibly moving "Someday is Today," a young woman comforts her sister and young children after her brother-in-law's unexpected death, and struggles with questions of faith and her own purpose. "The Only Way Out is Through" follows one man's struggles to get through to his troubled son, with nearly cataclysmic results. The main character in "Mollusk Makes a Comeback" struggles to remain positive as events in her life spiral out of control, and in the title story, the narrator's search for the perfect birthday present for her boyfriend leads her down an intriguing path. And those descriptions just scratch the surface of the stories in this collection.

I love short stories, but I really found this collection exceptional. Black created some truly memorable characters, many of whom could have a whole book written about them. (There are definitely more than a few characters about whom I'd like to know what happened when the story ended.) I didn't want this collection to end, but now that it has, I'm more than ready to read what Black has in store next! Don't miss this one, seriously.

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