Saturday, 28 April 2012

Lying Together ~ Gaynor Arnold

These short stories are so packed with life that each could easily stretch into a novel. Set during the Second World War, 'Looking for Leslie Howard' sees waitress Elsie discovering that a beautiful young man she admires is a conscientious objector. Arnold's writing is seamless and the characters are compelling: I would happily read the novel 'Looking for Leslie Howard' (if such a book existed). Each story in this collection is meticulously situated, from the modern day setting of 'Telling Radnor' to the reexamination of the past in 'Angel Child' the reader is instantly immersed in the beautifully constructed world of the story. The title story 'Lying Together' sees Glenys trying to get her 'thoughts straight through the mist' as she spends a fortnight with Bill. 'Taking People In' offers a glimpse into another world and the aforementioned 'Angel Child' contrasts beautifully with its predecessor 'Mouth.' The stories in this collection have been described as 'full of humanity but entirely without sentimentality.'

Read a review here and here.
Read interviews with Gaynor Arnold here and here.

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