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Obsidian Blue

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Some Stories Are So-So, but Ultimately 4 Star Short Story Review

Christmas Magic - Cathy Kelly

I am switching this one out for International Day of Tolerance. Sorry, there's not a lot of books I don't read so couldn't think of anything off the top of my head. 

 

So as I always say, writing short stories is an art. I thought this ultimately this collection was very good, though there were some weak stories here and there. I ultimately think that sometimes there wasn't even development of characters, or the endings were a bit weak. 

 

Christmas Magic (4 stars)-I loved the idea behind this one. An elderly woman (Genevieve) receives a book about magic and then goes a head to decide to use it in order to start taking some risks. There is a side plot with her next door neighbor dealing with the realization that his wife is not who he thought she was. It didn't really work I thought and think the story lost something when it shifted away from Genevieve. 


Anniversary Waltz (3 stars)-Nope. Nope. Reading about a woman (Felicity) having to deal with her selfish 22 year old daughter who is angry that her mother is trying to move on with her life after separating from her cheating louse of a husband. Most of this story is Felicity trying to think of ways for her daughter and mother to stop piling on her about her terrible ex. The anniversary waltz comes into the play at the end. This story ultimately felt a little rushed with romance and the ending was just eh after all that build-up. 

 

Madame Lucia (4 stars)-Women at a traveling agency end up seeing the psychic upstairs. It's left unsaid why the woman (the psychic) appeared and what she was after though which kind of left a hole in the story. 

 

Love in the Aisles (3 stars)-A young woman, Sarah is pretty much fed up with ever meeting someone. Due to her being tall she feels like most men prefer her more tiny and perfect sister. This story didn't hit the mark with me at all. Sarah eventually comes to find out what fool she's being acting like she's not attractive, so there's that. 

 

May You Live in Interesting Times (5 stars)-I liked this one. Thirty-nine year old Ruby Anderson knows she should be content. But after her neighbors drop bombs about moving to Australia and having affairs, she starts to wonder if she shake up her life. Ahem, why would you listen to anyone telling you having affairs is a good thing in a marriage? Still pretty funny though. 

 

A Villa by the Sea (5 stars)-Marcella ends up being the shining star in her family and is there to encourage on her sisters. It kind of made me laugh that her parents were totally oblivious to how she kept her younger sisters up and motivated. I did like how Marcella had a great career and realized that she was going to need to step back and think about herself after making sure her sisters were steered to more greener pastures. 

 

The Gap Year (3.5 stars)-Frankie feels lost after her only son leaves the nest. Though she usually doesn't get along with her mother, she's there to help her through it. 


Cassandra (5 stars)-I could have seen this one being a novel. The title character is Cassandra, best friend to Molly. Molly is constantly there to get Cassandra out of jams, do her homework, and "let's" her steal her boyfriends. One wonders what is Molly thinking. Things come to a head after they both start working a magazine together. I still found the ending a bit too unsatisfying, cause Cassandra needed a kick in the ass for the stuff she got up to. 

 

Letter from Chicago (5 stars)-A family has very little time to prepare for relatives coming from America. After finding out that her mother has told lies to her aunt about the state of her home, job, and children, Kim has to pull it together with her family and sister in tow to make the house presentable. 

 

Bride and Doom (4 stars)-Lily rightfully has a thing about weddings after getting left at the altar. There a comedy of errors, she ends up meeting a guy who may change her mind about them. 

 

You've Got Mail (4 stars)-Through email we found out that a woman (Millie) is dating a terrible person. At least things end up in a happily ever after. 

 

Christmas Post (4 stars)-A woman (Alice) and her family who had to deal with the death of her husband through the years. Alice and her family sound great. Her sister in law is a pain, though we get to see a more human side to her in the end. There is a weird plot with the next door neighbor's child that made zero sense. 


The Trouble with Mother (3 stars)-Not really trouble with the mother. Trouble with two stuck up daughters angry that their mother can ruin all of their plans by being boisterous and showing that they are from humble beginnings. I liked the other two siblings. The ending was weird though. It needed another paragraph to just say how things ended up. 

 

The Paradise Road Book Club (3.5 stars)-Okay I guess. Some of the local women who formed a book club are up in arms when they think that one of its members is dealing with her husband leaving her. That's not what is going on though. 

 

The Angel Gabrielle (5 stars)-Two women become fed up by their family (Claire) and married lover (Shelley). They end up meeting each other and another woman Gabrielle (really named Peggy) who encourages them to come to her annual holiday party.  

 

Lizzie's Fling (5 stars)-A woman gets her groove back when she starts a harmless flirtation with a coworker in another office location. 


Thelma, Louise, and the Lurve Gods (3 stars)-My least favorite of the short story collection. It went on forever and I didn't like the main character, Suzanne. She and her girlfriend seemed to not really care about the love interests in this book besides how hot they were. I didn't get any chemistry from what I was reading between Suzanne and Liam. 

 

The Office Christmas Party (5 stars)-Cracked up at a story taking a look at an office Christmas party. Though I liked this one, I was more interested in the side stories we heard about (a woman throwing up in someone's purse). When the office is able to have a bigger to do than what last year's was, Larissa, is a bit hesitant. However, she meets someone and then does her best to dress up in disguise so he doesn't recognize her later. There's a whole thing about why she does this, and it made no sense to me really, but was funny to read about. 

 

A Family Christmas (5 stars)-I thought this was a realistic look of a woman dealing with depression and finally finding her way out of the other side. Things may take a possible turn though, when she finds out that she and her husband have to host his family for Christmas. I thought it was great though how she find out some things she didn't realize about her sister-in law though. Which goes to show you never know what another person is dealing with. 

 

 

 

Book: Read any fiction/non-fiction about tolerance or a book that’s outside your normal comfort zone. (Tolerance can encompass anything you generally struggle with, be it sentient or not.) OR Read a book set in Paris.