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Relative Strangers - a Review
Relative Strangers is a collection of 14 short stories written by Margaret Hermes. In each of these stories, there are people who are strangers to everyone around them. They are strangers even to their own family members.
It takes talent to write a short story that will keep my interest, and not many writers succeed in doing this. The ability to tell everything that is necessary to the story, develop the characters without telling too much about them, and have an interesting story as the result is not something just anyone can do. I was hooked from the first story, “The Bee Queen”, about a lady who was supposedly killed by the sting of a mud dauber.
“Growing Season” is the story of a young lad who feels that his mother resents him for being born. She really wants a girl, but he is the only baby she has managed to carry to term and successfully birth. All of her other pregnancies have ended in miscarriage. She has just miscarried and he is sent to his aunt and uncle's farm to spend the summer there. At first he hates it, but while there he learns so much and he has his first experience with a girl, along with the wrath of her brother.
I think my favorite story was “Transubstantiation”. Transubstantiation is the changing of one substance into another. Martin & Janet were a happy married couple. They had been married for 29 years when their car was vandalized by a couple of teenage boys. A rock thrown through the passenger window had hit Janet in the head and sent her into unconsciousness. I've heard accounts of people who come out of comas and are completely different. I was once in a coma for six days. My husband says that his first wife died in the car accident, and that I'm his second wife. That is how different he says I am now. Read this story to find out what happens to Janet, and how her actions affect her relationship with her husband.
In “Meet Me”, a mysterious matchbook, discovered at separate times by the husband and the wife, makes each one suspicious of the other's activities.
Imagine finding out that your grandmother isn't really your grandmother. Then you discover that the entire family has been fed lies, and the woman you thought was your grandmother has been behind these untruths. This is what happens in “Relative Strangers”.
Her characters are true to life, and the situations so realistic that you feel the author has seen these stories take place. After you read these engaging stories, you will probably find yourself viewing many of the situations around you with new eyes. And don't ever think that you've figured out how the stories end. You will end up being surprised.
The author sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you would like to buy a copy to read and enjoy yourself, I have provided an Amazon link below.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
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