Tuesday, January 14, 2014

REVIEW: Auntie Rita is Coming to London ... and Other Stories

Auntie Rita is Coming to London ... and Other Stories
By Marella Albion

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Short Stories
Publication date: 11.1.2013
Pages: 182

Date read: 1.12.2014
Recommended by: Read 2 Review

Summary: Letizia is looking forward to some peace after an exhausting day spent giving as good as she got from her boss, when suddenly her aunt Rita calls. The accident-prone, cheerful, no-nonsense, God-fearing, garrulous aunt Rita announces she is coming to visit. Soon.   Horrified at the potential for accidents and misunderstandings, Letizia braces herself for trouble.   When auntie Rita finally arrives, there will be food galore, shrewd career advice and a letter that could not be posted.

Gigi has just found out that the job she is 'panting, screaming, aching for' at the 'Venerable Institution' has become vacant. Now is the time to send a killer job application, but first she must buttonhole the incumbent to find out a few details about the job. The trouble is: she must find him in an alcohol-fuelled, overcrowded media PR party, while trying to get a coveted quote from the financial tycoon everybody wants to interview.

Beatrice, Ian and Charlotte are looking forward to the return of their flatmate Lara from a trip around the world. Any time soon, she will be back with her easy-going ways and a husband in tow. Who would have thought that laid-back, fun-loving Lara would turn into a sudden bride?

Henry knows his darling Artemisia is up to something: she has started something, which takes up two nights a week, she is whispering conspiratorially to her best friend all the time, while her ineffectual boyfriend 'Mr Caring and Sharing' dreams of making a difference in South America.   Meanwhile, Henry's rival is back and has a few home truths in store for him.
Henry is determined to discover Artemisia's secret plans. Instead, he will get the whole truth.

My thoughts

At the beginning of 2012, I really started getting into short stories.  No matter what the subject is, if it looks interesting I will grab it up in a heartbeat.  I especially like when they are a set of short stories by the same author - it gives you the opportunity to really see all aspects of their writing capabilities.  Some short stories are really good, some are merely ok ... and some are just awful.  Some are so choppy that you can't even believe that they were written by the same person ... and some flow together so beautifully.

This is one of the ones that flow together beautifully.  It needed nothing more than just the stories that were involved. 

Story 1 --
Aunt Rita starts off sounding crazy fun, especially the descriptions of her accidents.   Then things get a little personal.  The story really is beautiful, especially the letter that she received from her Uncle.  To have someone like that in her life - what a blessing. 

I learned a lot from Aunt Rita.  Eye-opening.  And uplifting.

Note to author: I want to know more about Aunt Rita.  Please, continue on, writing more stories about this.  Please.

Story 2 --
I loved this story - so cute and fun - the aftermath (memories and all) after friends are informed of their friend's spontaneous marriage in Hong Kong.  It was mostly written from Beatrice's point of view, texts and emails included.

Story 3 --
Good story.  Interesting and thought-provoking, but I want to know what happens, how it ends.  (I really hate when a story is left open with such a big gap that you just can't assume what's going to happen.)

Story 4 --
Wow.  What a powerful story.  A conclusion never expected.

Favorite lines: "You are young and God likes laughter."

"I am really proud of London.  I love this dirty, frenetic, absurd, kind, awful, rainy, large, expensive city.  I love the atmosphere.  I love its accents; I love its different voices, its people, their flaws and virtues.  I love London because it gives everyone a chance and so I love nothing better than showing it off."

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