I began reading this book with the idea that it was a collection of short stories. And so, on finishing the first one, the title of which happens to be ‘Are You Ready to Be Lucky?’ I was sad. It was such a merry romp and I liked the characters so much and now they were gone. This was wrong, I thought. Just wrong. And terribly, terribly sad.
Then I began reading the next story. And I recognized the people. Stella and Roslyn and stupid Duncan the English twit, a personal favourite. (Duncan Bloxham; I mean is that the perfect name?) Good lord, I thought. Good lord…. Could it be?? I flipped forward a few titles…. and, yes, Roslyn, still there! Linked stories!
Oh wot a pleasant surprise.
Trauma behind me, I read. And read and read and read.
I drank peppermint tea with fresh leaves from the garden and put my feet up on the patio table. And hours passed and then the weekend, and clouds scudded by and the tea turned to wine. And I read til I finished this absolute delight of a book.
I will tell you nothing about it because sometimes I’m like that.
I will, however, tell you this: the chances are good you’ll enjoy this merry romp.
“The girl’s husband, thirty-five years her senior, cracks his sixth beer. He too is reading the Sunday Times. But only the pages that say what he wants to hear. The girl tries to remember how this man came to be her husband. How she became the third wife of a man only months after he divorced his second. She makes a disorganized list. It had to do with expensive dinners, a second-hand clothing store in Salmon Arm, with rutting elk, Canadian immigration, telephone calls across crackling wires, tears (his), frightening dreams of attacking ostriches (hers), a domineering ex-wife in England (his first), a suet recipe (bird pudding) using Crisco instead of lard. She adds the man’s talk of foreign places… How when he stood naked he reminded her of the pet turtle she had as a child, of whom she was very fond.”
Are you Ready to be Lucky? (Freehand Books, 2013)