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Edited by Douglas Glover & Maggie Helwig
Ottawa, Oberon Press, 1991. 104pp, paper, ISBN 0-88750-866-9 (paper) $12.95, ISBN 0-88750-865-0 (cloth) $25.95. CIP


Reviewed by David Chadwick.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

This collection of short stories is not for the faint hearted. The themes and characters are tough, the prose unrelent­ing. Each of the writers, Ellen Mckeough, Robert Majzels and Patricia Seaman, contributes three stories. These stories have no formal linkage with each Other but share a viewpoint, an outlook on life that is both bleak and realistic. These are adult stories not because they arc explicit or graphic so much as because they deal with adult situations and problems.

It is not surprising that the three were combined together, for they tend to complement each other, expressing different variations of the same general theme. Life is not all about red roses and happiness. None of the characters in these stories could be accused of idealism.

That said, the stories have merit, for they reflect real life and people coping with failed dreams. These stories are not about winners but simply people attempting to make the best of bad situations. In a few instances these characters (particularly those created by Patricia Seaman) lose their sense of proportion as they struggle to make sense of life.

Occasionally humorous, as in "Facts about Shriners," the stories are always interesting and imaginative. All three writers will be back again, likely with their own collections in the near future.

Recommended for public libraries and post-secondary institutions

David Chadwick, Winnipeg, Man.
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