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The People We Used to Be: A Flash Fiction Collection [Kindle Edition]

Madeline Mora-Summonte
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 42 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

The stories in this flash fiction collection are like day trips - brief, illuminating journeys - across the landscape of the human condition.

An old woman, with the help of a neighbor and a terrified dog, challenges a young punk disturbing the peace.

A middle-aged woman confronts a former lover as he holds her at gunpoint.

A boy learns the meaning of true friendship as a baseball game takes a terrifying turn.

A runaway searches for her own face among a wall of Missing posters.

Some of the characters find the strength to move forward while others struggle to just move on. Old. Young. Grieving. Lost. Alone. Smart. Funny. Tough. They are us.

This collection of 17 stories contains both new and previously published work. It includes "Hungry," winner of the Writer Advice 6th Flash Prose Contest and "A Quarter for Your Thoughts," winner in the Published Flash Fiction category of the Florida Writers Association's Royal Palm Literary Awards, 2008.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 169 KB
  • Print Length: 42 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #972,009 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great flash fiction collection 10 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant collection of flash fiction: varied, interesting, emotional - a thoroughly good read for readers who like short stories and even shorter stories.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read. 16 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When there are so many stories in a collection, it's hard to choose your favourites. Some of these were almost perfect - and had me re-reading them straight away - others missed the mark slightly. On the whole this is a good collection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, beautiful writing 29 Oct. 2013
By Cathy Olliffe-Webster - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This collection of short stories is like a small, precious gem. Absolutely breathtaking tales, some as brief and sweet as summer sunshine, these tenderly told stories reveal much about human nature in very few words. Madeline Mora-Summonte paints her subjects with a deft touch. They all seem real, like people we know, like family, and readers will find themselves becoming attached to them quickly. My favourites include The Salute of the Old and Crotchety ("White wisps of hair, aided by a cool breze, escape his roughened scalp. They wave at me, happy to be free from the comb-over.") and Weekend Escapes, where I fall in love with Paul and Miriam Kaufman and a mysterious old postcard. ("The old woman points at the postcard. She smells as if she showered and shampooed in cigarette smoke.") This is a brilliant collection. Enjoyed every word and highly recommend.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The stories deliver that punch-in-the-gut sensation, which is the trademark of good flash fiction writing. 15 Oct. 2014
By Michelle Wallace - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Flash fiction, like a high-resolution snapshot, illuminates a moment in time.
This wonderful collection, with its tight writing and sharp images does just that. The stories deliver that punch-in-the-gut sensation, which is the trademark of good flash fiction writing.

The beauty of the stories lie in attention to detail: careful word choices, that do more than just fill up space; the nuances in a loaded conversation; the parts that are left out; the silences where you have to read between the lines... things you have to guess at...

You will meet a variety of strong and interesting characters. The situations they find themselves in and the choices they make, will keep you thinking long after the stories are over.
There are a variety of topics/themes: the old challenging the young, a postcard at the centre of a love affair, the abandonment of a child, a wayward kid whose actions conjure memories of another kid... another place... another time; you will ponder the topic of true friendship and wonder about the dynamics within a father-son relationship which is governed by a hunting accident.

Ms. Mora-Summonte has done an excellent job and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flash Fiction to Enjoy 18 Jan. 2014
By Beverly's Reviews - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Do you enjoy reading fun stories, spooky stories, and sad stories? Do you like short stories that you can read when you have just a few minutes spare time? If you do, then take a look at THE PEOPLE WE USED TO BE, a book of flash fiction written by Author Madeline Mora-Summonte.

The author has included a variety of stories. Some might make you laugh; others might bring tears to your eyes, still others you might relate to. One of my favorites is “A Quarter for your Thoughts,” a story about looking on the bright side of a situation. Now shouldn’t we all do the same, whenever possible? A story titled “The Salute of the Old and Crotchety” made me chuckle, though you might need to be a member of the “old and crotchety” generation to see the humor in it, or maybe not. The story “Hungry” reminds us there are homeless and hungry people in our world and perhaps we should be aware of them and how we might help them.

So if you’re in the mood for a book with just about anything you might enjoy reading add THE PEOPLE WE USED TO BE to your list. Enjoy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Collection 26 Nov. 2013
By H.G. Estok - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Flash fiction, when done well, takes the reader into a moment in time -- a scene we experience through the eyes of a character in transition. The story is fast, but it doesn't read hurried. It's over before you know it, but it lingers in your mind long after. Mora-Summonte is a master storyteller, and flash is her forte. Without a word wasted, her writing is incredibly strong, taut, emotionally moving, and her descriptions are fantastic. This is a haunting collection of characters and tales I won't soon forget.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flash! Good fiction here! 20 Nov. 2013
By Russ Heitz - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Flash fiction, like good poetry, is very difficult to write. Some of its difficulty comes from its length, which is obviously very short. There is no room for padding, no room for nice but superfluous words, no room for elaborations, and no room for that bane of all wanna-be writers: self-aggrandizement.

Another of its difficulties is finding the write metaphor, the right simile, the right analogy to describe an action or a feeling in the best and only way it CAN be described--at least within the context of that particular story.

Ms. Mora-Summonte has overcome these difficulties with ease--or so it would appear. Truth be known, however, writing good flash fiction is not an easy task for anyone. It's just that Ms. Mora-Summonte makes it LOOK easy. And that's the mark of a good writer.

She also has an uncanny ability to peer into the hearts and souls of men and women who are much older than she is, as well as men and women whose lifestyles are far different from her own. That means she has an abundance of empathy and compassion. She also has the skill, the patience, and the perseverance that good craftsmanship requires.

And if that's not enough, Ms. Mora-Summonte also knows how to create an emotion-snagging turn of phrase. To wit:

"Looking on the bright side all the time must hurt your eyes."
"Gram's mind continues to crumble ... flaking as if a fingernail scrapes against her memories."
"He moves down the sidewalk like a tired breeze."
"Shoulder blades fragile as moth wings."
"A ferocious blue-eyed gaze."
"The air was damp and smelled sharp and green."

If you like flash fiction, you'll love this collection.

Russ Heitz
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