Imagine a world where shadows of enchantment instantly render ordinary experiences eerie, terrifying or sublime, and where the unexpected becomes the norm. The twenty-one micro stories in Laura McHale Holland’s Just in Case comprise such a place: a universe where a wife betrayed relishes her revenge; a couple chugging toward retirement takes a surprising U-turn; a much maligned character finally has his say; a cozy family scene chills the blood; a curious relative cannot leave a half-human baby alone. These, and more, are what you’ll find in this book.
The dark, often revealing themes in this collection marry exquisitely with the precise flash fiction form, offering a full reading experience in few words. If you enjoy engaging, short reads with deliciously poetic prose, plenty of imagery, and context left to the imagination, you’re likely to love the concise gems found herein.
JUST IN CASE was a delightful, fast read, which I finished in just half a day. The stories are short, vivid, and left me wanting more. The author weaves tales using carefully chosen imaginative words that not only set a scene, but get us deep into character point of view. The shortest is just a half a page and the longest was probably less than ten, but the amount of real estate had nothing to do with the reading experience. I devoured each one, then reread it to savor it, to marvel at the author’s ability to use words as if she was wielding magic, making us see and feel with intensity. My favorite was the tale of a mailman and his favorite customer, a man with wolf-dog hybrids, but I don’t have a least favorite. They were all so very good. I will be reading more by Laura McHale Holland!
What I Loved About JUST IN CASE
1. The Writing. The author has the ability to draw me deeply into a story that takes no more than five minutes to read.
2. The Length. As someone with ADD, I loved that I could read a story while I was waiting for water to boil or my computer to boot up. I could set it down and not have to remember where I was because that story was over.
3. Reader Interpretation. Due to the nature of the storytelling, so much is left for the reader to interpret, and each one had me thinking about it long after I was done reading.
4. Quirky Characters. Many of the tales had richly drawn characters that were fun and a little different, making them a delight to read.
5. Darker Subject Matter. I loved the darker tones of many of the stories without ever becoming macabre. Perfect for reading during an autumn evening by a warm fire.
Wonderful short tales of fascinating characters wrapped up in spectacular storytelling.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Title: JUST IN CASE
Author: Laura McHale Holland
Release Date: August 17, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary Short Stories/Flash Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
About the Author
In all of her work, Laura McHale Holland strives to stir people’s emotions and find hope hidden in unlikely places. Her novel, The Kiminee Dream, set for release in 2020, introduces a cast of quirky characters in a fictional Illinois river town where unseen forces both help and hinder, and people learn to rise in the face of adversity, accept what can never be and embrace big dreams anew. Laura’s published books include two memoirs, two collections of flash fiction, and an anthology on sisterhood. In addition, three of her plays have been produced in San Francisco’s North Bay region.
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