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BY THE WAYSIDE: Wonder Full Short Stories ~Anne Leigh Parrish

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

BY THE WAYSIDE is definitely a book of short stories that has brought me delight and enjoyment.  I believe that this is because of Anne Leigh Parrish’s style of storytelling and her interesting twists and pockets of humor in the most common of circumstances.  There are such wonderful sneaky quirks found here.

TLC Book Tours  sent me a PDF file of the book for review and it came at perfect timing.  I just adore good short stories whether they make me think, cry, laugh, or exploit my confusion.   I like to keep them on my phone so that when I am waiting for an appointment, or the bus, and even for my partner to arrive I always have something portable to dive into and not lose track of; I am carrying my phone anyway so why not a bunch of stories?  Any of Parrish’s stories begin as a “winner” read in my book and BY THE WAYSIDE did not disappoint.

The characters have a genuine quality.

I always have a hard time writing about short story books.  Do I highlight something about each of the 18 stories? Do I tell you one made me very sad and also I never thought I would find painful menstruation a topic, which will forever make me smile and laugh?  I did very much like the stories where one of the characters found their own voice or calling and were able to strike out on their own to make a good change for themselves.  Several stories demanded that I think about them as I needed to draw my own conclusions and the one primarily about food, a food that I delight in eating, did not make me hungry rather challenged my heart too.

The stories can be very short or traditional length and still capture the full measure.

Anne Leigh Parrish is the author of All the Roads That Lead From Home, stories (Press 53, 2011); Our Love Could Light The World, stories (She Writes Press, 2014); and What Is Found, What Is Lost, a novel (She Writes Press, 2014). Her new novel, Women Within, is forthcoming from Black Rose Writing in September 2017. Find Anne on Facebook, Twitter, and her website. (From TLC Book Tours)

Parrish is a Master wordsmith.

“Anne Leigh Parrish is one of the best of a new wave of American short story writers reinvigorating the form. Many of these writers specialize at flash fiction– a genre at which Parrish is a master. She also, however, excels at stories of more traditional length. Her tales, long or short, are highly readable but also convey intelligence and meaning. Few writers today create as much compassion for their characters, or draw as much emotion from their situations, as does Anne Leigh Parrish.” – Karl Wenclas, Editor, New Pop Lit.

Titles of stories:
AN ANGEL WITHIN; HOW SHE WAS FOUND; ARTICHOKES; THE PROFESSOR; SMOKE; WHERE LOVE LIES; THE KEEPER OF THE TRUTH; AN ACT OF CONCEALMENT; TRIAL BY LUCK; ALONG CAME A SPIDER; BY THE WAYSIDE; LETTERS OF LOVE AND HATE; THE FALL; BREE’S MIRACLE; PATIENCE; FIRE AND ICE; A THING OF BEAUTY;THE LILLIAN GIRL

Related  Reading:
Our Love Could Light The World
Half As Happy
Flings
Incendiary Girls
A Brief Moment of Weightlessness

Our Love Could Light the World ~Anne Leigh Parrish

Monday, June 10th, 2013


I finished reading this book with a longing for more and then a hearty laugh.  OUR LOVE COULD LIGHT THE WORLD is a delightful group of short stories all about one family.  I am sure you know this family the Dugan’s, because there is a family like this in your neighborhood.  You know the one with 5 children; never do any yard work or house maintenance and their dog and cat poohs in your yard!

OUR LOVE COULD LIGHT THE WORLD is not a knee slapping kind of humor, although I did a few very discreet chuckles along the way which were matched with a deeper tad of sorrow page by page.  Just about nothing went quite right for this family as each story unfolds a part of their lives and realities.

I could spell out the characters for you, but I just think you would prefer I did not, as each person has their own chapter and problem to overcome and explore.   The characters are all stuck in Dunstan, New York and cannot seem to see further then their own experience.  The children take care of themselves and most of the time dear old dad too.  Mom does it all, including work, until she leaves and takes the children into a moneyed environment, in which they all, including Dad find benefit.

Aunt Patty is the only one to escape but then again not for long, as she must repeatedly return from Montana to pull the family into a semblance of organized and functional.  She has an undaunted spirit and a bit of plan for everyone along the way, and most often does the right thing for the right person, though maybe not always intentionally.

Anne Leigh Parrish, the author, in the handout is described as being a person who LOVES to write and it does show in this delightful book.  I found a precision in her words and a connection between the stories which was tight, full and precise.  I got to do my own visualizations, when the individual’s story presented, I found what I had imagined from the words to hold true to form in the chapter.  Parish has won an amazing number of writing awards and hails from New York, Colorado; presently Seattle. Her style is being compared to a number of the Best Seller Writers, and yet none of them have such quirky, realistic characters and none of those books made me feel like this was the family down the street.

The Dugan’s have a very strange way of expressing it, but this book is a true love story and I can only hope that my actual neighbors have at least some of their loving spirit behind all the swearing and I am sure alcohol consumption.
The reader will find a heartfelt, chuckling, calamity filled experience in OUR LOVE COULD LIGHT THE WORLD.

tlc logo Once again I want to say thank you to TLC online book tours and the Anne Leigh Parrish for sending me an early copy.  The e-reader copy is only $4.99 and the paperback is just $8.99 so the author is giving the reader quite a deal on this one.   A Kindle copy will be given away to a good comment.

Put this one on your list, you will be very happy that you did.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few daisies in my basket.  Thank you.  Donations also welcome.

Related Reading:
What the Zhang Boys Know
Olive Kitteridge
Half As Happy Stories
In The Garden of Stone