Devotees of the Barbara Cartland school of romance will not enjoy this book. There's nothing sloppy, nothing trite or hackneyed in this sparkling collection of stories. As always, Sarett's work is informed and enlivened by her acutely penetrating observation, and her immunity to pretension of every kind.
From the sweet, strange String Theory, to the achingly sad A Strange Courtship, to my personal favourite, Victor's Proposal, and at all points in between, Strange Courtships takes us on a tour of some of the less-travelled possibilities of love. It's a good illustration of what I sometimes think is the difference between a Real Writer and a mere producer of paperback fodder - that ability to see something different even in the most ordinary of situations.
I often see people in writers' groups remarking that some subject (love, zombie apocalypses, vampires, murder etc) has been 'done to death', and that there is no new thing under the sun. This book is an answer to, and a complete rebuttal of, that view. It serves as a reminder to us all that there is always something rich and strange, if we have but the talent to write it.
These stories deserve from me the ultimate accolade: that I wish I had written them myself.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)