Strawberries and Other Short Stories
by Mary Brooks

"The early morning mist had not yet receded, and the air was crisp and icy so that his little nose felt stingy around the nostrils."

In this new volume of short stories, the author tackles subjects like travel, infidelity, divorce, and deception. Certainly these tales carry a darker tone, from the story about the phony spirit medium that exploits people only to be recruited by an actual spirit to seek vengeance, to the anecdote of a doctor craving death in a time where medicine has established immortality. Other stories focus on precocious children, like the boy who fell asleep on the farm and let all of his grandfather's chickens out. Nearly two dozen tales like this are collected in this book, each with their own unique characters and shocking twists. With just a few sparse elements of the supernatural sprinkled in for good measure, these stories are largely grounded in reality and focus on human interactions and struggles.

Featuring twenty-two stories and none over five pages long, these selections are quick and easy to digest, perfect for a single-day binge reading or for a quick break from the norm spread out over several weeks. The characters of each vignette take center stage, establishing and fleshing out regardless of their setting or circumstance. These are the kind of stories people tell about other people conversationally, noting a peculiar detail here and there and getting to the point rapidly with excitement. This book is a prime example of light reading, addressing even heavy subjects with expedience that knows how to settle the matter at hand and let go before things become drawn out. Readers who want an interesting perspective that goes without spending a lot of time developing itself will devour these short but sweet stories.

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