Monday, September 14, 2009

Book 49 of 52 -- Laura Pedersen's The Sweetest Hours

In a series of short stories and novellas, author Laura Pedersen explores relationships between people and character growth. Pedersen's strong writing enlivens each of these stories, creating laughs and thoughtful moments with even familiar situations. The story of Gus the dog, for instance (Gus Hunts for a Job) didn't exactly plumb any emotional depths, but Pedersen constructed it strongly, with plenty of vivid images of a dog's life--and the life of a college fraternity. The nerdy camp councellor story (Second Nature) is a bit of wish fulfillment for nerdy book-people everywhere. I found the story of the bookstore sister (True to her Word) and of the sisters (Irish Twins) to be the emotionally strongest and most disturbing. Each of these dealt with people outside of the mainstream of the accepted--looking for ways to accomodate the world--or to make the world accomodate to them.

THE SWEETEST HOURS is universally well written and interesting. Some of the stories seem dated, and some may reflect Pedersen at a less mature emotional stage, but this is a compelling set of stories--well worth the read.

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