Monday, 16 April 2012

Last Fling ~ Sue Gee

This collection is novelist Sue Gee's first and these stories have been described as, 'affectionate portrayals of eccentricity' mixing 'toughness and sharp social comedy with heartbreaking valediction.' Gee's prose is elegant and restrained. The opening story, 'In Bratislava' explores the loneliness of a man whose wife has left him. It is a quiet, sad story in which what is not said is often more important that what is said: 'You make me feel -' the man tells the waitress he meets on a lonely business trip. The title story has an irresistible beginning: 'Last Fling. Musical F, 60, ill and unlikely to recover, seeks tall, kind, clever man for loving companionship in whatever time is left.' Fran wants 'one last go' but changes her mind following a course of chemotherapy. The story is beautifully written and exquisitely sad; full of regret and loss, but illuminated by the tenderness of the relationship between Fran and her sister, Steff. Shena MacKay claims that Gee writes with 'heartbreaking valediction in stories dealing with illness and loss' and this is certainly true.

Listen to 'Back' here.
Read a review of 'Last Fling here.
Download a PDF extract of the book here.

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