I like how Mr. Morin varies his writing style according to the point he wants to convey. The first story is almost all dialogue, abrupt, short sentences, and non-sentences, with very little explanation, and everything is told through the personality of the person’s grammar, ending with, “Don’t do that to me again, OKAY?” It’s a good ending, letting us know that everything will be OK with this father and daughter.
The second story is a completely different style. It’s more eloquent, smoother, and more literary, with expressions like, “she wrapped me like a blintz,” and “my eyelids were like anvils,” and “a noose that was, thankfully, empty.” It’s a pleasant read.
And it ends happily. The stars in the sky support the story throughout, with their clarity and brilliance, which, in my opinion, conveys the idea of permanence.
A Dirty Angel goes back to the choppy style, but works well in this situation. It’s a little like stream-of-consciousness, with the author talking to the reader, as in “I pity your lack of imagination.” It’s very hard to do second-person narrative, but Mr. Morin pulls it off quite well,
“…like she’d been twiddling a lacrosse stick since birth” twiddling is a good word.
Surprise ending, she was using him. Sorry to divulge.
Joyful, Joyful is my favorite. It conveys a tone of quiet acceptance of life’s circumstances, but at the same time, reveals the goodness of people whom you wouldn’t expect it to come from. It’s easy to bond with the main characters, given Mr. Morin’s strict adherence to point of view. It’s sad and funny at the same time, mostly sad, but very satisfying.
“You say my heart is weak,” I asked the man.
“Is that the same word as broken?”
“No, different. You heart broken too?”
“Ohhhhh, very bad,” he said. “You eat chicken feet every day.
That’s sad and funny at the same time, mostly sad.
Private Trust, hmmm that’s a thinker. Although clever and short, it’s not one you want to read in bed, curled up with a hot cup of tea, droopy-eyed, ready for lights out, thinking, “Ah, this one is short. I’ll just take a look at it and go to sleep.”
No, you need a couple of stiff drinks to lubricate the intellect, and plenty of time to read it two or three times. It’s great in that regard.
The last story is a shift to present tense, so you have to wrap your brain around it if you’re coming off the couple of drinks from the last one. It’s very philosophical, about a dying mother who forgives her ex-husband’s (dead now) infidelities, telling them to her son with a calm acquiescence. She’s happy, even eager, to go “up there.” Why?
Why? I suspect she’s got a plan, well, not a plan, but an objective.
The messenger, her son, says, “He should know that none of us ever felt his absence”
She declares, “I’ll make sure to pass that along,” and you can almost hear her thinking, “Yeah, sure. Wait ‘till I get up there and tell him how he screwed you up, too.”
Anyway, that’s my take on it. “Honey, can you get me another beer?”
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)