Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Memory Keeper

 

 

In these eighteen linked stories, the reader accompanies our heroine Noela (“born on Santa Clause’s Day!”) as she develops from an insecure Daddy’s Girl into a woman willing and able to stand on her own. Go on this journey with her as she meets challenge after challenge and as her relationships with all around her change.

The Memory Keeper is a collection of tales about a life well learnt in S. Nadja Zajdman’s distinctive story-teller voice.

RRP £9.00

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This is a delightful collection of memoir-style stories. Some are quirky, some funny, and some touch on the harrowing; but they are always engaging. They have a wonderful sense of tenacity and an accuracy that is uncompromising when it comes to family relationships. I found myself wishing there were more. I also like the fact that this author doesn’t spoon-feed the reader – sometimes you have to work at it to understand who is speaking, but it is always worth the wait. A really lovely collection -I’m going to read mine again.

Book bundle: Dramatic Episodes and The Jinn

 

These interlocking episodes give us an insight into the complexities of 21st Century life. They are interconnected through the activities of an amateur dramatic group. Here we see the drama of real life unfold.

RRP £7.00  


At just five-inches tall, he's a demon with attitude, and he is fed-up with people summoning him through his talisman. With sass and cheek aplenty, he wanders grumpily through a saga of adventures. He meets learner drivers, babies, and zoo creatures, to name but a few, each in need of his special brand of help.

RRP £7.00 

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Monday, February 7, 2022

Fresh Beginnings

 

An intriguing mixture of stories, all in Leela Dutt’s inimitable style – something here for everyone, and beautifully illustrated by Kate Attfield.

Some are short and funny, some poignant – widows faced with losing their grandchildren, a daughter burying her father and dealing with a domineering mother. One endearing narrator is not human at all but still strikes a chord with us. Time travellers visit Hans Andersen’s Copenhagen; a young German boy is welcomed by some but by no means all in Hertfordshire just after the war. Perilous adventures in a hire car in the south of France are described by a lad who is unaware that at the very moment he’s telling us about his family holiday, London is under attack. A young Japanese car manufacturer encounters the strange people of the South Wales Valleys – and their grandfather who was a prisoner of war in Burma. Finally the life story of a Quaker celebrating her ninetieth birthday at the end of the century.

Leela Dutt’s collection Fresh Beginnings will warm your heart and stay in your mind – it might even make you laugh!

RRP £8.00 

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Fresh Beginnings, the new collection of short stories by Leela Dutt, maintains the high standard of writing we expect from this original and engaging author.

 

Time, and its effects on us, is one of the intriguing themes explored in the collection. In A Royal Wedding, two teen-age cousins time-travel, entering the world of Hans Christian Andersen’s Copenhagen in order to find their missing relative, and find themselves helping another young person in the process.

 

In The Match, an elderly German movingly reminisces during a reunion with his English counterpart from the family who welcomed him as an adolescent after the Second World War, and with whom he has remained friends ever since.  The theme of reconciliation, foregrounded, in The Match, is a recurring one throughout the collection, as in The Ocarina, which treats of healing between nations, and in Blizzard, in which family strife is mended. On all occasions, the subject matter is handled with sensitivity and understanding. We believe in the characters who come to life on these pages, sympathise with their plight, and want to know what will happen to them.

 

 

Humour is also present, especially in A Touch of Natural History, with its charming simian narrator, and in the written correspondence of the title story, Fresh Beginnings, and in that of All in a Day’s Work. Comedy is balanced by thought-provoking stories such as Damage and The End of the Road, with its poignant conclusion.

 

What I will take from all these varied tales is a sense of the uplifting moments in life. I can recommend Fresh Beginnings to anyone searching for a positive and entertaining reading experience.

 

In Fresh Beginnings Leela Dutt shows us how stories can be found - whether in moments of change or in looking back on past experiences.  In this collection we are treated to the perspective of a chimpanzee, a journey through time, post-war hunger and reconciliation,  the blossoming of love and reflections on grief.   If you like short stories, if you like good stories, then Fresh Beginnings is for you.

Dr Kate North, Reader in Creative Writing, Cardiff Metropolitan University
 

Leela Dutt’s ‘Fresh Beginnings’ is a varied, interesting, imaginative and thought-provoking collection, offering the promise of change in the lives of ordinary people. When viewed from the perspective of an ape in ‘Bonobo’, human life is not far removed from theirs but the whole collection of stories suggests a higher moral dimension to our lives which makes us capable of empathy, forgiveness, reconciliation and, above all, gives us the chance to start again.
Kate Attfield’s lovely illustrations at the beginning of each story encapsulate the essence and give us a taste of what is to come.

Noisette

 

 

 

Thw Sound of Patriarchy and other stories by L.F. Roth

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