The Ice Cream Vendor's Song

Rated 3.92/5 based on 13 reviews
The Ice Cream Vendor's Song introduces a new side of Laura McHale Holland, whose memoir, Reversible Skirt, won a silver medal in the 2011 Readers Favorite book awards. In this richly nuanced collection of very short fiction, the author tilts the everyday and spins characters in surprising directions, revealing worlds haunting yet tender, all rendered with emotional clarity and exquisite prose. More

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About Laura McHale Holland

Laura McHale Holland is the author of the award-winning memoir, Reversible Skirt. Her stories, essays and feature articles have appeared in such publications as the Every Day Fiction Three, the Vintage Voices anthologies, NorthBay biz magazine, the Noe Valley Voice and the original San Francisco Examiner. A member of both Redwood Writers and the Storytelling Association of California, she has been a featured teller at The Lake Tahoe Storytelling Festival. To keep up with her, please visit

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JB Lazarte reviewed on May 27, 2013

Laura McHale Holland’s flash fiction collection, ‘The Ice Cream Vendor’s Song’ is just what today’s internet-reared readers need: short, punchy, yet emotionally impactful tales of just the right manageable length. At turns sentimental, often poignant and heartbreaking, the short (or very short) stories in this collection do not fail in hitting us where it hurts most.

Indeed, ‘The Ice Cream Vendor’s Song’—despite the stories’ individual lengths—is best enjoyed slowly, as each morsel is a rich helping, a close-up view of the human experience served in easy-to-assimilate units. From the romantic (“Rolling Toward Her Feet”) to the strange (“The Golden Sandals”) to the abrupt (“The Fool”), this eclectic collection of stories descends on our senses in some sort of cadence all its own.

I also love how Holland weaves her sentences—the end result is deliciously poetic and often brimming with pathos. It’s a joy to read the lines, regardless of what particular story you’re on. Overall, this is a book that deserves to be tried and enjoyed and downloaded. Even better, this can be a great gift to a loved one. Highly recommended!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Nancy LaRonda Johnson reviewed on May 15, 2013

When I was young, riding in the car with my mom and peering at the cars that we passed, or looking out the window of BART at the passing homes, I often wondered what the lives were like of the people in the many cars and houses. The collection in The Ice Cream Vendor's Song gives you a glimpse into quite a few people's possible lives. It is an interesting and memorable book of flash fiction.

Although many of the stories I wouldn't call complete stories, some are, and all have something worthy about them.
(reviewed 72 days after purchase)
Jody Darden reviewed on April 21, 2013

I am a big fan of flash fiction and won this collection from LibraryThing's Member giveaway.
Each of these short pieces is its own vignette and many have interesting and challenging ideas for you to ponder. They vary from snapshots of ordinary moments to sometimes fantastical situations. I would definitely read more from this author.
(reviewed 58 days after purchase)
Mary Ruth Gross reviewed on March 23, 2013

I like getting inside the sometimes quirky mind of this truly original author. All of the stories made me think, and gave me chance to see some everyday things from a new perspective.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Ricardo James reviewed on March 21, 2013

This book has a collection of short stories that are simply short, sweet and sometimes surprising. Quality writing! Not only are they well written but they are also perfectly suited for a quality read. Happy I didn't waste my money!

The author skillfully demonstrates that you don’t have to write a whole lot to create an imaginative seen. This is what kept the stories delightfully captivating. Reading this book leaves me with an open reading appetite for more of Laura Holland’s writings. I happily savored each of these short gems!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Marlene Stotts reviewed on March 21, 2013

This is a collection of short stories from the heart and mind of a very unique person.

I was always a big fan of the "Chicken Soup" series, so naturally I gravitate towards compilations of short fiction and stories that provoke thought.

The author writes with a great sense of self, and with a wonderful lyrical rhythm to her prose. Each story is written with a different moral, unique message, or interesting vignette of life: her words really make a lasting impact.

All in all, this is a great little book to curl up with for either a few minutes, or maybe a few hours. It will definitely make you think. Well done!
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
glitterlips reviewed on March 19, 2013

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

In this very short story collection (some stories are only 1/2 page long), writer Laura McHale Holland takes us on a wild ride - to some really dark spaces and some fantastical places. I love a lot of the interesting story lines and think she is a clever writer. I know that short stories are some of the hardest to write and I really commend her ability to tell a complete story in so few words. I really enjoyed this collection and look forward to reading more by this author.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)
Kimberly Scott reviewed on March 19, 2013

The Ice Cream Vendor's Song by Laura McHale Holland is a book of short and shorter stories. Some I liked more than others, but all of them will make you think. I enjoyed reading each and every and one. A good book for an afternoon or evening read.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, rather it be good or bad.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
fuzzi1 reviewed on March 18, 2013

The Ice Cream Vendor's Song is a collection of very short stories, most of which are very strange. I managed to read almost half of the book, but decided it was enough for me: I was not enjoying them.

If you like strange and weird stories, like some of Theodore Sturgeon's works, you might appreciate this collection.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Mary Kersting reviewed on March 18, 2013
(no rating)
These short stories are intriguing, strange, and thought provoking. They made me laugh and made me cry. I could relate to some of them, but most of them were too weird for me to understand.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
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