Bumpy Roads
by Brian Wilson and Rachel Coop
Trafford Publishing

"Don't worry it's just another moment in time. It will soon all blow over."

Brian Wilson's collection of short stories, with the addition of five stories by Rachel Coop, is dedicated to the people of Christchurch, New Zealand. This small area of the world was struck by more than 10,000 earthquakes over a two year period, making the title of Wilson's book quite meaningful. Not only does it refer to the literal bumpy roads that pepper the landscape as a result of so much ground upheaval, but also to the figurative element of so many lives drastically changed.

The collection includes both poetry and short stories, all of which address, in one way or another, the bumpy roads everyone travels. Whether it be on holiday and discovering unexpected surprises around the next turn or at home and suddenly realizing an element of self that had previously gone unknown, each story has a delightful twist that serves to explore our shared human condition.

Rather than being focused on one set of characters or even one age group, this collection features a number of different characters, only some of whom tend to return again, representing a range of ages. From the young people just starting out in adult life with college and outdoor adventures through the young parents to the newly empty-nesters and retired travelers, there is a story for everyone within the pages. Some of the stories are accented with an illustrative photograph showing important landmarks or meaningful works of art. Overall, it's a well-composed collection that can be enjoyed, as the author says, "whether you are curled up comfortably in an easy chair at home, lying in a hospital bed or waiting impatiently for a flight at an airport."

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