Thursday, April 23, 2009

Review: The Light, The Dark & Ember Between


Today's review is the first of many that I read during last weekend's 24 hour Read-a-Thon.  I was anxious to get a lot of reading done because I have many back to back tours this month and next.  Thanks so much to Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book Promotion for letting me join in this tour.

Author:  J.W. Nicklaus
Review Copy Provided by: author

About the Book:  A collection of short stories, each a splinter's reflection of the human condition, firmly centered upon our oft tenuous, sometimes tensile bond with Hope, and careening flirtation with Love.

Fifteen stories: From the wispy fog of a love lost at sea, to an orphaned child who delivers a present of her own during a war-torn Christmas. These stories are gentle reminders to each of us of what it is to be human, and certainly of our affinity for the slightest glint of Hope.
My Review:  When Dorothy asked me to review this one, I wasn't real sure what I was getting, because I'm not usually one to read short stories.  Well, I'm so glad I did!  This was the book I read first on Saturday, and it went very quickly.  I was surprised at how intrigued I could get with a short story, so quickly.  But, by the time it was getting really good, it was over.  There were some stories that I wish could have gone on because I wanted to know more.
Nicklaus is a great writer.  He weaves a great story that draws the reader in almost immediately.  Each of the stories in this book are about love, in one way or another, but that's not to say that they are all your "happily ever after" love stories.  Some of the characters long for a lost love, some wait for a love to return, while others are wishing for love.  It is truly a great little book.  It's one that you can read for a little while, one or two stories, put it down and return later to a whole new story.  There wasn't one piece that I didn't like, but if there were, you are not giving up on the entire book because you don't like one story, you just move on to the next one. 
Prepare to be run through a gamut of emotions with these stories.  You will smile, you will laugh, you will cry, you will be on edge, I promise you!  Many of the stories had me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen, and others surprised me, like the story One Washington Diner.  This one is my absolute favorite.  I recommend this book and these stories to anyone who has ever loved and lost, had true love, or just wants to read some good love stories.  You will not be disappointed.
This is a stop on JW's blog tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion.  Come back tomorrow to learn more about JW Nicklaus as he stops by for a guest post.  He may even have a surprise for one of my readers!


Beth F said...

This sounds good, but I'm not much of a short story reader because I always want to know more!

J.W. Nicklaus said...

Shelly and Beth,

If I may say first, thank you, Shelly, for the wonderful review and taking the time to both read the book and write the review. Dorothy had hinted that you really liked the book, but I hadn't the slightest idea how much!

I cannot, in the least, disagree with your comments regarding "wanting to know more." That's an indelible part of our human curiosity. I, too, like to know more when reading. The trick with short stories is to try and bridge that gap by gently tugging at one emotion or another. I can tell you the candied apple is red underneath that sheen of golden caramel, but if I give you one to taste chances are you'll go back for a second or third bite. ;^)

Bottom line is that we all like to be entertained--one way or another--and if I can impart some kind of feeling through my writing, then by my definition I've provided some solid, if quiet, entertainment.

Thank you Beth from stopping by and commenting!

Marie said...

Sometimes its fun to read short stories- especially if you are sort of reading a bunch of different books at once and none is really clicking. Great review!

thewriterslife said...

Thank you so much for hosting J.W. today, Shelly!

J.W. Nicklaus said...

All I had to see was your moniker and I instantly wanted a chocolate cupcake with chocolate or strawberry icing.

Thanks for stopping in :^)

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the great review. I've been eyeing this book as J.W. has toured. I'll have to put it on my Mother's Day wish list.

J.W. Nicklaus said...

A single rose, set atop the book--would be a fitting Mother's Day gift, indeed :^D For those who are affected by the economy (you have my genuine sympathy), there is a rose on the cover already, so simply offering the book as a Mother's Day give could conceivably cover the flower portion.

Just a thought ;%)

Cheryl, thank you for following along with me. Don't think I haven't noticed your name as we've been going along!

Teddy Rose said...

Excellent review Shelly! I like short stories, so thanks for bring this to my attention. It's rare that a reader likes all the stories in one collection! That's great! I'm adding this to my TBR!

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