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26 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful little collection
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...
Published 21 months ago by Ms. E. D. Harrison

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars unexpected
I thought the stories would have a lighter touch, to be honest, I found them increasingly depressing. Not what I expected, put it that way, but I suppose it shows the writer isn't only able to write love stories filled with endless misunderstandings and happy endings. One or two were quite pungent and probably worth putting under a different name - they're good, but...
Published 10 months ago by Elegsabiff


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful little collection, 5 Oct 2012
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This review is from: A Life Unpredicted and other stories (Kindle Edition)
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
This review is from: A Life Unpredicted and other stories (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
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C. Plunkett (Brighton UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: A Life Unpredicted and other stories (Kindle Edition)
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
This review is from: A Life Unpredicted and other stories (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
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This review is from: A Life Unpredicted and other stories (Kindle Edition)
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
This review is from: A Life Unpredicted and other stories (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
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This review is from: A Life Unpredicted and other stories (Kindle Edition)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading is like a box of chocolates, 1 Nov 2012
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This review is from: A Life Unpredicted and other stories (Kindle Edition)
Short story collections in my experience are often hit and miss - sometimes a strong story 'carries' the others or the collection is too similar in theme so after reading one you know whats coming.

The author compares collections of short stories to a box of chocolates. Basically this is a box of chocolates - but one of those rare boxes which contain all of your favourites PLUS those favourites are not all (insert your favourite chocolate here) but widely different and potentially introducing you to new favourites.

OK enough with the chocolate box comparisons.

What you have here is a great collection of short stories of varying lengths and themes. It is incredibly readable and in many cases thought provoking. If you haven't got your copy yet, stop reading my ramblings and download now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great stop gap while waiting for her new book, 20 Oct 2012
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This review is from: A Life Unpredicted and other stories (Kindle Edition)
A Life Unpredicted and other stories by Joanna Phillips is a lovely collection of short stories that are very varied. Overall, what I really enjoy about her writing style, shown here again in these short stories, is her ability to make you feel very much part of the characters world. So while waiting for her new novel these are a great stop gap or snack while we await the next meal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars unexpected, 22 Sep 2013
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This review is from: A Life Unpredicted and other stories (Kindle Edition)
I thought the stories would have a lighter touch, to be honest, I found them increasingly depressing. Not what I expected, put it that way, but I suppose it shows the writer isn't only able to write love stories filled with endless misunderstandings and happy endings. One or two were quite pungent and probably worth putting under a different name - they're good, but unexpected, and aren't helped by the Joanne Phillips name, nor to do they help her frothier books.
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