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Creek Walk and Other Stories by Molly Giles
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Creek Walk and Other Stories

by Molly Giles

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421416,296 (4.1)6
In this breathtaking and unforgettable collection of fourteen stories, Molly Giles introduces us to women struggling in the everyday, and in elegant, poignant, and achingly true prose, observes the human condition.

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I loved these stories; they're beautiful, complex, sensitive, and wonderfully crafted. The phrase that Publishers Weekly used -- "voice-driven" -- is extremely apt. But I have to admit that I like Giles' earlier collection, Rough Translations, a little more. Perhaps this is just my personal taste, but I found the earlier stories more enjoyable, mainly because of their sense of joie de vivre and their sparkling, full-of-life characters. Heck, even the story narrated by a woman on her deathbed was loaded to the rafters with joie de vivre. With this collection, the characters feel a little more run down, a little more defeated by life. Of course, the mere joyfulness of a story is no indicator of its quality, but I felt that what made the stories in Rough Translations really stand out was their sense of indomitable life and energy. With that energy reduced a notch (though certainly not absent), there's a little less to make the stories in Creek Walk stand out as brilliantly.

But heck, there are hardly any books in the world that I enjoyed as much as Rough Translations, so it's no faint praise to say that this collection is a close second to that one. And I thought also that I could detect some development in Giles' writing; where the best stories in her earlier collection focused on a single character, many of the stories in this book are centered around multiple characters and their relationships. And a couple of these stories -- "Talking to Strangers" and "The Writers' Model" -- show Giles moving into some new territories in terms of both subject matter and tone.

So by all means I recommend this book, and I hope you'll buy it. But I hope you'll buy Rough Translations too. ( )
  KarlBunker | Mar 30, 2014 |
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