Category: Sunday Meme

Short Story Sunday: The Matchmakers by Carolyn Brown

The Matchmakers
Author: Carolyn Brown

Narrator: Bailey Carr
Published: April 7, 2022
Audiobook: 2 hours

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: October 24, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

Three mischievous matchmakers. Two lonely hearts. And one last chance at a happily ever after. Don’t miss this heartwarming short story from New York Times best-selling author Carolyn Brown.

Meet Minnie, Dotty, and Stella—all retired and year-round residents on a cruise ship, they have dubbed themselves the unofficial matchmakers aboard. Minnie can ferret out a lonely woman by the second day of the cruise. Dotty can spot an openhearted man all the way across the Lido Deck. And Stella is great at putting a plan together. Together they’ve been every bit as successful as one of those online dating sites, and they can watch the romance unfold right before their eyes.

The trio face their biggest challenge yet when an unusual pair makes it onto the 10-day cruise to Alaska. Ava and Vince are on the verge of a divorce and have no idea that they’ve each booked the same cruise to think things over. Now, with a little help from the Matchmakers, they’re about to discover that every great voyage has its storms—and love means weathering them together.

Jessica’s Review:

This is a cute one, where you know from the beginning how it will end, but that is chick-lit for you: It can be a nice refresher from all the thrillers I read. It was short and I was able to listen to it during my commute to/from work in one day.

The narrator went a bit out there with the southern accents. Not all southern women have distinct southern accents, I am one of those as I am from Georgia.  Once I got used to the way the narrator was portraying them, I was able to enjoy this audiobook.

The ladies remind you of the Golden Girls so you know you are in for a ride! They are such a fun group, I would love to see more of their adventures on cruise ships!

Purchase Links:
This short story is only available on Audible or audio cd

Amazon US 
Amazon UK

Short Story Sunday: Uncharted Waters by Sally Hepworth

Uncharted Waters
Series: Getaway #1
Author: Sally Hepworth

Narrator: Candice Moll
Published: August 31, 2022
Audiobook: 1 hour 44 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: October 21, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 1 star

Book Description:

“Speak your truth.” An icebreaker leads to unintended consequences for two strangers aboard a luxury yacht in this seductively twisty short story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Sister.

When Ella boards a sumptuous charter off the coast of Australia, she feels…dread. Her husband, Mac, the social butterfly who makes these wellness retreats so much easier to navigate, is stuck at work, leaving her exposed to the other passengers. Luckily, she forms an instant bond with the charismatic Chloe, a newly single woman salving a broken heart. But as the friendship grows, Ella discovers they share more than the need for an escape, and their devastating connection has the power to forever alter their lives.

Uncharted Waters by Sally Hepworth is part of Getaway, a collection of six stories about dream escapes that take unimaginable, even sinister, turns. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single sitting.

Jessica’s Review:

I wasn’t prepared for the direction this short story went in. It was unpleasant in several areas for me. The only reason I continued it was that I would not have been able to get something else in during my commute, and I really regret it. This short story is not typical of Hepworth’s  novels that I have read and enjoyed in the past. It is described as a thriller but it is not:  It is all about cheating on the part of both spouses. We have a FF (female/female) affair story here.  This short story was not for me at all and if this had been my first experience with Hepworth I would not continue her full length novels. She was the whole reason I went for this short story in the series first and was very disappointed.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US 
Amazon UK

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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

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