Monday, January 21, 2008

A lovely review

For Leading the Dance by Nik. Here's what he said:

Like Chocolates


Some books, more specifically short story collections, are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. And I found myself thinking this about Leading The Dance, by Sarah Salway this week.

You see, I never read the stories in collections in order. I don't know why, I just don't. Last week, after many weeks of dipping in to it, I realised that sadly I was nearing the end. I probably only had one or two stories left to read, though, as I'd not read it in order, I didn't know how many.


So, like those last few chocolates in a box you've really loved, I tried to save them. You know, as a treat. I didn't want to be greedy and scoff them all in no time. And I didn't want to lift the lid and see how many (or few) I had left. I wanted to enjoy them. And enjoy them I did but...

The box is empty now, and I'm disappointed.

I want more.

I loved the first book (Something Beginning With) of Sarah's I read. And I love this, I think, as much. It is, I think, the best collection of short stories I've read. It's delicate and tender in places, and heart twistingly sad in others. It's not short on laughs either. And if there's one thing that's present right the way through the book it's the uncanny way that you can empathise with or recognise almost all of the characters.

It is expertly written and hugely enjoyable. The prose sparkles mostly, while at times it is nothing short of dazzling. And touching.

A fantastic collection.

6 comments:

Kathryn said...

And very well deserved too!

Sarah Salway said...

Aw thanks, Kathryn.

jem said...

For some reason I have an aversion to short stories. I just can't get enough out of them. I won't give up though, I try to read a few collections each year, and occasional one comes close. I'll have to try yours soon I think, you never know!

Sarah Salway said...

If you do, Jem, I'll be pleased to know what you think. Doesn't sound as if you'd have high expectations!!!

mjmoore said...

A bit late to this, I know, but I also recently reviewed this one.. http://bcfreviews.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/leading-the-dance-by-sarah-salway/

I'm reading Messages at the moment, and love that one too. :0)

jem, as I (poorly) try to say in my review, these stories do seem to have a lot in them.. they're very different to say, short horror stories, which you take very much at face value. I will be going back to these at some point, and I'm convinced I will get even more from them second time around.

Sarah Salway said...

Your review makes me very happy. Thank you! And I'm pleased you're enjoying Messages too xx