These perfectly formed short stories are like brightly coloured miniatures in an art gallery. The author's choice of format for her stories produces a fast paced series of scenes, very visually rendered, sometimes covering a very short space of time, perhaps a few hours, one story at least probably covers half an hour. Each story ends with a sense of a line having been firmly drawn or a door firmly closed on the scene, so that one imagines the characters continuing their progress but one is satisfied that one has seen and understood enough. The stories are about characters whose feelings surprise them or hinder them or are unrecognised by them. These emotions are depicted through sharp observation of reported speech and of unexpressed inner feelings and thoughts, with revealing and sometimes comic results arising from the natural discrepancies. The author (and therefore the reader too) sees more than the characters do themselves, as in Jane Austen. Sharply observed and cool but not detached. Timeless classic writing.
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