Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today is somewhat of a double-header for my friend and author/blogger Sally Cronin. I recently invited Sally over for a Q & A where we got some good insights from her on marketing and blogging and more, as I featured her newest release, which I’m featuring here today again with my review – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries – Some Bitter, Some Sweet.
For those of you who enjoy Sally’s heartfelt stories that pack a punch in the heart zone, and for those of you who’ve yet to enjoy one of Sally’s books – Sally never disappoints! Sally takes us into stories sure to tug at our hearts in her latest book of heartfelt stories and accompanying poetry.
Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet is a collection of short stories with scattered poetry, reflecting the complexities of life, love and loss.
The stories in the collection dip into the lives of men and women who are faced with an ‘event’ that is challenging and in some cases life changing.
Even something as straightforward as grocery shopping online can be frustrating, and a DNA test produces surprise results, the past reaches out to embrace the present, and a gardening assistant is an unlikely grief counsellor. Romance is not always for the faint-hearted and you are never too old for love. Random acts of kindness have far reaching consequences and some people discover they are on a lucky streak. There are those watching over us who wish us well, and those in our lives who wish us harm.
My 5 Star Review:
I was eagerly looking forward to Sally Cronin’s latest book of short stories that take us in and to other places and time. And although each story is individual to itself, as with all of Cronin’s stories, they share a common theme – kindness, humility and the human condition.
Cronin writes stories about everyday humans, situations, love, loss, courage and hope. Several of the stories end or begin with an accompanying poem which reflects on the tone of the story. The author has an innate gift for syllabic poetry – especially the Cinquain.
I love the title of this book because, as it implies, such as in life we enjoy the sweet moments, but must also endure the bitter sometimes in life. The book reads like an anthology, encompassing stories that warm our hearts, as well as a few surprise stories with a futuristic edge – that may not really be so far in the future.
Just a sampling of a few of my favorites in this book are:
The Weekly Shopping – The first of the stories to grab our attention where Barbara encounters what many of us feel nowadays – Big Brother watching our every move. But how far is far enough?
Winning Streak – “They say you can’t buy happiness, but you will be surprised by the power of a fiver in the hands of the right people.” This poem alludes to two of Cronin’s stories about luck, below.
The Scratch Card – following circumstances after Elsie Thompson wins $20 on a scratch card, and we discover how much those meager winnings hugely touch a few people’s lives as ‘pay it forward’ progresses.
The Charity Shop – have you ever had the good fortune to find a sweet cheap deal in a charity shop? Find out what Mary Jane picked up for a ‘fiver’ and how it changed many other lives.
The Date – Elsie Windsor buys a raffle ticket, hoping to win the tin of biscuits and wins a lot more than she could even imagine. At age 95, Elsie is not too old to feel young again.
Friday Night – An empowering little tale about Lizzie who learns her value and takes back her power.
Gaffer Tape – More Karma, and a bit of sweet deserved revenge when Jennifer has taken back her power and teaches her husband a well-needed lesson.
The Florist – It’s never too late for dreams to come true, even when you think love has passed you by.
Sally Cronin is known for her books that go straight to the heart, so if you enjoy feel good stories for a lift, you will surely enjoy this latest book of heartfelt stories.