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If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This:…

If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This: Stories (edition 2010)

by Robin Black

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Title:If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This: Stories
Authors:Robin Black
Info:Random House (2010), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This: Stories by Robin Black



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I'll be honest, I'm generally not a fan of short stories. They tent to begin and end too abruptly and the characters are often shallow. While the first two items still still hold true, Robin Black does an amazing job with the third.

In her stories she introduces us to several people, and we are given a glimpse of their lives. It is just a glimpse, as we are only with them for a period of time centered around a theme, relationship or event in their lives. These are ordinary people, experiencing real-life events... and by the time the story ended (it doesn't always reach a conclusion, but with Black's storytelling that doesn't seem to matter) I felt connected with the character as if I were there with them.

I was given this book as a First-Reads selection.
( )
  snotbottom | Sep 19, 2018 |
I'm not generally a fan of short story collections, but I've been finding myself increasingly drawn to a few with catchy titles. While I did enjoy several of the stories (most notably "Divorced, Beheaded, Survived"), I was frustrated over and over by their abrupt endings. Just as the story was getting good, just as I was really starting to care for the characters and getting interested in where things were going...the story was wrapped up prematurely and it was time to move on to the next. ( )
  Sarahbel | Sep 1, 2017 |
Review coming up! ( )
  irisper012106 | Nov 1, 2015 |
I found these short stories to be excellent, almost without exception. The potential problems I have with short stories are that they don't have enough depth of characters or that there isn't enough plot to be satisfying. But these stories had plenty of both these elements. I've never read any of Robin Black before, and I was looking in my local library for her novel, "Life Drawing", when I found this volume and thought it might be a good way to see if I like her style. I'm certainly going back to the library now to look for her other work. ( )
  oldblack | Aug 18, 2014 |
If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This by Robin Black is a debut collection of ten short stories. The central theme is transition and coping.

The titular story is a prime example of how these stories unfold. Each scene begins with the phrase, "If I loved you, I would tell you this—" as she silently rants about her neighbor. He, unaware of her health problems or her son's problems, builds a tall fence around his property. The fence limits the space in her drive way, making it more difficult to get to her home. That apparently small inconvenience spirals out to many more problems and more bottled up anger.

The simplest solution — one not tried by the main character — would be to talk politely with the neighbor. She, though, is the silent martyr type. She keeps quiet to keep the drama and emotional tension high.

The other stories pull similar tricks. After a couple of them, you'll start to see the patterns involved in writing the stories. At that point, you will either like the collection, or you won't. I found the emotional string pulling tedious at the halfway point. ( )
  pussreboots | Jun 24, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin Blackprimary authorall editionscalculated
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farr, KimberlyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, Ann MarieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, KirstenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ten short stories explore human relationships, moments of change, and unspoken truths.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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