Sunday, February 24, 2013


Author:  Emma Donoghue
Genre:  Historical Short Story Collection
Published:  Astray, 2012
Personal Rating: 4/5 (very good)
Format/Narrators:  Audiobook/
Five Different Narrators
Yearly Count:  12

This short story collection is a prime example of "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."  My average rating for these stories turns out to be 3.6 (good).  However, my experience listening to them and their informative format (notes at the end of every story) has me rating it as 4/5 (very good).  I really enjoyed this collection and would definitely read/listen to more.

1.  Man and Boy

2.  Onward

3.  The Widow's Cruise

4.  Last Supper at Brown's

5.  Counting the Days

6.  Snowblind

7.  The Long Way Home

8.  The Body Swap

9.  The Gift

10.  The Lost Seed

11.  The Hunt

12.  Vanitas

13.  Daddy's Girl

14.  What Remains

After Thought:  As I typed the titles in this collection for this post, I remembered each story and wondered why I rated them as I did.  I finally came to the conclusion (like I have done numerous times when that very question invaded my thoughts) that it's just a feeling I get when the story is done.  I usually go with my gut (no deep pondering happening here) and briefly think, "Was it good?" and then go from there.  All these ratings were recorded soon after, if not directing after, listening.  They certainly could and probably would be different, if I gave it more time to think or talk to others about them.


  1. My ratings change mentally after an amount of time has passed since I've read a book, too--I think it's natural to go with our gut feeling but sometimes I'll continue to think about a book I might not have rated highly and think it better than I did at the time or sometimes my feelings wane a bit.

    You know--short stories are so tough for me to pick up and put down. I think audio is a great way to go! Might see if my library has this one. Of course I still need to read Room as well (have paper copy).

    1. Trish ~ I actually prefer to read short stories. I can squeeze them in anytime and can actually see how many pages a story has. This may be the first time I listened to a collection. It was a good experience, but I don't plan on making it a habit. BUT, who knows . . . I may! :)

  2. I know she became 'known' after Room, but your review makes me think I need to read even more Donaghue. I like the idea of all the short stories being historical. I did read her The Sealed Letter, and it was good historical fiction as well. I enjoyed watching your reviews fall in for the whole book!

    I understand about the 'whole greater than its part' bit. I find that with mystery series books. Individual books are just good, but the series as a whole can be fabulous.

    1. Raidergirl3 ~ In the Afterward, she talks about all her love for history. I didn't know that until I heard her say it!

      YES! Good analogy regarding series and individual books. I agree!

    2. I've got it coming in at the library next week. I'm so looking forward to it!

    3. Raidergirl3 ~ I hope you LOVE it! :)

  3. I need to get my hands on this book!

    1. Bermudaonion ~ I think you'll really enjoy it.

  4. I really enjoyed your progress with this one. Sounds like one I'm sure to enjoy!

    1. Nicola ~ I think it was a very good collection - unique, too! :)

  5. I think I might have to listen to this collection at some point!

    1. Staci ~ If you're looking for based-on-truth, historical short stories, this is the collection to read!

  6. Anonymous1:51 PM

    Not much a short story girl but the fact that you liked the whole better than the parts intrigues me. I may have to check it out since I just read something similar somewhere else (don't ask me where since I don't remember :)).

    1. Stacybuckeye ~ If the historical connection is something you would enjoy, I suggest you give this collection a try. :)


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