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on July 27, 2012 :
I'm used to a story which has a lot of action. I knew by the description that Hershey Falls was more of a drama but, since I recently read one of Norma Budden's books (An Affair to Remember) and enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd see how her writing style measured up in a different genre, with far less characters involved and only a fraction of the time and space to tell her story.
One of the things which impressed me is that the story took place over the span of a single afternoon and evening yet still managed to hold my interest. Being a general reader of novels, I'm used to stories being stretched out so I can really get to know the characters involved and really get involved with the story.
I'd be lying if I said every short story I've read has enabled me to have such an experience but Hershey Falls is definitely one of the rare exceptions of the short stories I've read.
The characters are rich in substance. They are consistent - not to mention open and honest instead of pretending everything is OK in their lives. I became invested in these characters and would like to hear more of their story; in fact, I'd like to see this story turned into a full length manuscript so that Hershey Falls, as it currently stands, would come in the middle so I could see more of what happened before and find out what happens later.
Even so, if the author never revisits these characters, there's just something about them which makes me want to read their story over and over, in case I missed something the first time around. As I said, I'm invested.
The story's focus is very tight. There was never an instance of the author going off on a tangent just to fill space with words. Every word counted and moved the story along at a pleasant pace and the visual presentation of the story was perfect. The editing and formatting were solid which was s real treat after some of the ebooks I've read.
I really appreciate that Norma Budden doesn't fill her short story with longwinded descriptions of the characters and settings. She writes just enough to enable me to use my imagination so I can fill in the rest of the blanks. I loved it! A side note: I hate it when an author goes on forever about descriptions and settings; most times I set the book aside because I can't imagine putting myself through such torture.
A final point: I have to admire the personal touch the author has shared in both of the titles I've read. It's obvious she has used events from the past to shape her future and, instead of hiding behind a facade, she tells things like it is. I'm not sure I would have the courage but I have to admire her for being strong enough to share personal aspects of her life with the world.
To summarize I will say this: I'd like nothing more than to give the author a 10 star rating for this short story but, as the systems currently stand, I must limit myself to 5 stars.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)