Tag: short stories

Short Story Sunday: Graceful Burdens by Roxane Gay

Graceful Burdens
Series: Out of Line
Author: Roxane Gay

Narrator: Samira Wiley
Published: September 1, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: June 8, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars     

Book Description:

From New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay comes an unforgettable tale of nightmarish bureaucracy in which genetic profiling has redefined the “unfit mother.”

A trip to the library prompts one woman to question her fate in this galvanizing short story. For a woman like Hadley, deemed not acceptable to procreate, there’s only one recourse. Unlicensed for motherhood, she can alleviate her grief and frustration at a “baby library,” where a curiously endless supply of infants is available for a two-week loan. But the borrowed life that serves as a temporary balm leads to a journey of self-discovery that will forever change the direction of Hadley’s future.

Roxane Gay’s Graceful Burdens is part of Out of Line, an incisive collection of funny, enraging, and hopeful stories of women’s empowerment and escape. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting. 

Jessica’s Review:

This story takes place in a dystopian world where women are evaluated to determine whether or not they will be permitted to have children. They undergo testing at age 16 to see if they will be allowed to procreate. We see both sides of this world through Hadley who is unlicensed to have children and Seraphina who is licensed. 

There are libraries in this world where only women can ‘borrow’ a child for up to two weeks.  These children are no longer ‘borrowable’ once they hit three years old. Hadley checks out a baby girl as only girls can be ‘borrowed’. We also see Seraphina who has children but doesn’t really want them.  It still seems like the ‘grass is greener on the other side’ even in this dystopian world.

I can’t say much more than this because it would give away what happens in the short story. There is much more that could be done with this story: It is another one I would like to see expanded because of the direction it goes in. It is an intriguing story that also makes you think. 

Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell by Illustratus

Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell
Author: Illustratus

Published: August 13, 2019
160 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell is a ghost story collection for middle schoolers.

Featuring the only true ghost stories in existence (as the book itself will tell you), readers discover 13 eerie encounters that are perfect for sharing—if they dare.

With tales about a finger against the inside of a mirror, a wooded area where the trees look back, and a basement door blocked by a brick wall so thick it stifles the screams from below, this book is sure to haunt anyone who can’t resist a spooky story.

• Filled with creepy poems and tales
• Features striking, bone-chilling illustrations from Disney-Pixar talent
• Book contains all original stories

This haunting book will consume your imagination and keep readers of every age up long past their bedtimes.

• Great for those who can’t get enough of Halloween, ghost stories, scary movies, and all things spooky, as well as librarians and teachers looking for a thrilling read to share with students
• The perfect book to read by a campfire or during a slumber party—or alone under the covers in the middle of the night

Kim’s Review:

This is a great one for kids! It’s very Scary Stories, but definitely unique! The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and I think I actually liked this anthology better, overall, than Scary Stories. The connection between all the stories was general enough that it didn’t affect the stories, but that everything felt like it all went together. The stories are short and simple and chilling! I really liked it a lot!!!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Short Story Sunday: This Telling by Cheryl Strayed

This Telling
Series: Out of Line Collection
Author: Cheryl Strayed
Narrator: Kristen Bell
Published: September 1, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: March 29, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Short Story Description:

A genealogy test sparks a woman’s reflection on the two accounts of her life—the real one and the one she’s always told the world—in this poignant short story by Cheryl Strayed, the bestselling author of Wild.

In 1964 teenage Geraldine Waters was sent away by her parents to an unwed mothers’ home, where she gave up her newborn for adoption. Ever since, she’s lived an alternative narrative. Decades later, it’s time for Geraldine to reconcile the telling of her life, to finally grieve, and to discover what happened to that part of her past that slipped away.

Cheryl Strayed’s This Telling is part of Out of Line, an incisive collection of funny, enraging, and hopeful stories of women’s empowerment and escape. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

Jessica’s Review:

This short story was all that I thought it would be.  Taking place in 1964 when women were heavily shamed for pregnancy outside of marriage, we have Geraldine’s story. The father is going off to Vietnam and thinking of the different options available and even possibly going through with them, Geraldine ends up gives her baby away for adoption. Now, in present day with genealogy tests coming up everywhere, she must come to face her past.

This very well written short story covers all the angles that it should. The reader sees what an unwanted pregnancy at the time meant.  I only wish it was longer!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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