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A Life Unpredicted and other stories [Kindle Edition]

Joanne Phillips
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 52 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

Love, loss, joy, regret and the perils of parenting – all these themes and more are explored, touchingly and bravely, in this collection of ten short stories, including:

A Life Unpredicted – The key to your future might be hidden in the past ... Shortlisted for the Grace Dieu Short Story competition.
Parenting Class – “‘You need help,’ Gina had said, ‘and I know just the place.’ Gina was my social worker, and the place was Parenting Class, Tuesday afternoons, free to those desperate enough to need it.”
One To Keep – A story for everyone who’s ever made – or broken – a new year’s resolution.

“This new volume contains all the hallmarks of her novels: sensitive observation, eloquent phraseology, a kind heart, a quick intelligence and a generous nature.” Debbie Young, author

“Ms Phillips’ writing is spare and direct, with scarcely a word wasted. This is just how short pieces should be written.” John Dolan

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2605 KB
  • Print Length: 52 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mirrorball Books (3 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009LI9AW6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Joanne Phillips lives in rural Shropshire with her husband and young daughter. She's the author of romantic comedies Can't Live Without and The Family Trap, and the Flora Lively series of contemporary mysteries. Can't Live Without was an Amazon top 20 bestseller in 2012 and her books regularly appear on category bestseller lists. Before becoming a writer, Joanne had jobs as diverse as hairdresser, air hostess and librarian, but now divides her time between writing and finding creative ways to avoid housework. She's a fan of super-dark chocolate, iced coffee and Masterchef. Visit to say hello.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful little collection 5 Oct. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Joanne's writing style. The sentences are crafted simply, but they are not lacking in substance. The stories are easy to follow and there seems to be a continuing theme of family and relationships. They all adequately address real life issues and end on such a note that you want to know what happens next. Overall, great for when you don't fancy picking up the novel you are currently ploughing through, and just want a short, thought-provoking and well written story :).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read ! 20 Oct. 2012
By Cherie
Format:Kindle Edition
Although I bought this book for the short stories I've been unable to stop reading after each one. It's a bit like eating a tub of ice cream. Although I tell myself I will stop after the next bit I never do, Joanne's stories have so many tasty bits it's hard to put them down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delicious selection of stories 14 Oct. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author introduces this collection of stories as being somewhat like a box of chocolates, in that there should be something in there for everyone and that you don't have to like every chocolate in the box. Well I devoured every single one and found each to be totally delicious! From the striking cover to the beautifully written stories this book is something very special.
What particularly impressed me was the authors' use of engaging all the senses in her narrative. In the first story the scent of roses, sounds in the house, the touch of a scratchy blanket, the taste of stewed tea and a visual description that totally transported me. It is this attention to detail that marks out Joanne Phillips as a natural storyteller.
Each story is complete in itself and often a tale of relationships - between family members, young lovers, mothers and their children and a married couple. The stories cover loss, love and a myriad of emotions in-between. Until the last paragraph of each I never guessed how they would end and the unexpected twist added to the enjoyment of reading them.
This is the first book I have read by Joanne Phillips and I didn't want it to end which surely is the sign of an excellent storyteller. At the end of the book I was treated to the first three chapters of her book `Can't Live Without' and I am off to download that right now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining 16 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I don't always do well with short story collections - I get irritated with all the switching around and usually want to know more about a story (or am left thinking `what exactly was the point of that?' and want the five minutes I spent reading back).

I quite enjoyed this selection though, laughing out loud on more than one occasion - even shedding a tear at the end of one or two.

Every piece is concise and well written and I found myself struck by certain phrases and ideas that hung around in my head long after I had finished reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely collection 23 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An emotionally satisfying collection of short stories, dealing with love and loss and some darker themes (being one for the macabre I would have rather had more of the more sinister tales but that's just me...). One story in particular, One to Keep, made me cry on public transport which was a tad embarrassing but testament to the fine writing of Ms Phillips. I am not one for chick-lit but these little tales are not that - they are tiny slices of drama from a variety of lives. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming short story collection 16 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I had read 'Can't Live Without' and a few of these stories on the author's excellent blog, but it was nice to find them all collected in this volume. The themes of love, loss, secrets, dreams unfulfilled run through all of these, but each story has a different voice. I liked the sense of wistfulness and poignancy in nearly all of them, as well as the dashes of humour (the abandoned husband's increasingly desperate voice in 'Dear Jean') or the casual cruelty implied in 'Touch'. A very enjoyable read and an excellent showcase for Joanne Phillips' talents.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Elegantly-Written Collection 10 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an elegantly-written collection of short stories by Joanne Phillips, best-selling author of `Can't Live Without'.

The stories pull at the emotions but without undue sentimentality. Ms Phillips engages her reader without the angst-ridden accretions which cluster around so much of today's writing on matters of the heart. Instead she leaves her reader to draw their own conclusions. Her characters are quickly and deftly drawn, and she proceeds without ado straight to the nub of matters.

I detected a unifying theme around the tales: one of loss. Whether it is the loss of a loved one (`A Life Unpredicted' and `A Careful Man'), loss of perspective (`Joy' and `So Many Children'), loss of a relationship (`No Matter What', 'One to Keep'and `Dear Jean'), the writer mines deep feelings while herself maintaining a sense of detachment. It is interesting to note that her full-length novel - the first three chapters of which are included with this collection - begins with the main protagonist losing her home in a fire. The tales are not, however, morose. Far from it.

Ms Phillips' writing is spare and direct, with scarcely a word wasted. This is just how short pieces should be written, in my not-so-humble opinion.
I enjoyed `A Life Unpredicted'. The only question for me now is: Can a guy raised in the North East of England bring himself to read Ms Phillips' chick lit NOVEL? Hmmn. I did enjoy the first three chapters ...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 3 months ago by Sharon Allan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good thanks
Published 5 months ago by jen
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice collection of stories
Lovely collection of stories. They could have been written about real people. Some are very short and others are more involved, but all will leave you thinking about the characters... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Maria Savva
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to this writer's work
First of all I'd like to advise you not to be put off by the reviews that complain about a third of the book being taken up by the first three chapters of another of novel - this... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Terry Tyler, author
5.0 out of 5 stars A life unpredictable and other stories
Only just discovered this author. Just so light and refreshing. Will be getting more stories. Highly recommend this book to
Published 14 months ago by Linda smouton
3.0 out of 5 stars unexpected
I thought the stories would have a lighter touch, to be honest, I found them increasingly depressing. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Elegsabiff
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Another fantastic piece by my favourite chick-lit author. Love the short stories and Joanne's style of writing. Worth checking out other titles from Joanne.
Published 24 months ago by Lynsey Martin
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok
Ok takes 10 mins they stick 3 chapters of a book to buy at the end! Glad I didn't pay for it!
Published on 12 Jan. 2013 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
The short stories were very good and left you wanting more.

Joanne pays attention to detail and gets the mood right in whatever subject she writes about. Read more
Published on 7 Jan. 2013 by Caro M
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life Unpredicted and other stories
Great book from start to finish found it hard to put down Funny in places and also sad this book was told from the heart.
Published on 5 Jan. 2013 by Yvonne Harverson
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