What a lovely surprise to find a book of entertaining Australian stories containing characters living in Melbourne that I could relate to or if not, would love to find out more about them. Although I don't know anyone who who can lift the evil eye, as Magdalena Mavros, the mysterious widow does in the first story "All Windows Open"; I would like to. This main story of the collection focuses on what it is like being young, Greek and Australian and in lust with someone you shouldn't be. The story contains little gems of wisdom of life in Melbourne in the 80's. I loved the fact that Chrissie, the main character, takes her friend to an actual Countdown taping. Wow! I could read a whole novel about someone who actually went to a Countdown taping.
Having recently turned 50 I thoroughly related to Elizabeth in "Open for Inspection" who received the same birthday present that I did: ä request for a faecal test sample from the government (bowel cancer screening). I am guessing the writer is 50ish with a Greek background but it is obvious she has a wonderful sense of humour and can write wonderfully engaging stories.
Be warned, "All Windows Open" has several descriptions of delicious sounding Greek deserts that will make want to search for the nearest Greek cake shop or befriend a Greek stranger that could make you a cake. On the negative side, I was so engrossed with "All Windows Open" that it jolted me out of my comfort zone when the main character Chrissie, after a barking dog woke her from a moment in a romantic dream wrote, "I wanted to find that dog and kick it". I was disappointed that one of characters that I had come to like so much could even think of hurting a dog. But then again, I am a dog lover. Perhaps the writer could think of that in the future. I hope there are many more stories to read or perhaps even a novel?