THE EMPTY NEST
31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love, and Freedom: After the Kids Fly the Coop
by Karen Stabiner
Published by Hyperion: Hardback, 289 pp
This collection of short essays or meditations on the fact that being a good parent ultimately demands the strength to let go of the job, is a nice resource for this time of the year, when so many youngsters are starting off in the world, whether going to college or to work.
The authors range from the famous (Anna Quindlen, Ellen Goodman) to the lesser-known (a seventh-grade language arts teacher from Mercer Island, Washington). All the pieces are engaging and-or thought-provoking.
If you have a grandchild on the brink of leaving home, you might consider giving this little book to his or her parents. There’s sure to be something in it that will resonate with them, although like all such collections, it is best taken in small doses, not in a non-stop read.
A RUN ON HOSE
by Rona Altrows, a collection of literary short stories; ©2006
Published by Thistletown Press, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Paperback, 174 pp, Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd. (US), Amazon and Thistledown
A Run on Hose is simply delightful. All of the stories are about the complexities of women’s lives and she tells them with compassion, humour, irony and grace.
Altrows has the ability to show us the universal through the use of everyday details and characters that resemble the woman down the street or in the store you visited yesterday. And, best of all her writing is not pretentious in any way.
There are nine stories in this collection and some of them feature Irene, a retail saleswoman of a certain age, who is dedicated to helping other women find the right lingerie. In the process she finds out more about herself. The last story in the book, Boxes focuses on grief and the trials and benefits of friendship. It stayed with me long after I finished reading it. Maybe that’s the best recommendation I can make.
A Run on Hose received the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize this year and a friend recommended I read it. I’m glad I followed her advice. Small press books, like this one, often don’t receive the recognition they deserve. Run out and order it while it’s still available.
Julia Sneden is a writer, reviewer, teacher, wife, mother, grandmother and care-giver. She lives in North Carolina. jbsneden can be reached by email (at) triad.rr.com
In the late 1960's, Diane Girard worked in one of the first women's Information and Referral Centres in Canada. Comments may be sent to her via e-mail at email@example.com