Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Season of Fury and Wonder

Finished March 28
Season of Fury and Wonder by Sharon Butala

This collection of short stories is told from the point of view of older women. Each story has a woman in her older years telling her tale. The women have a variety of experiences but have all had interesting lives with ups and downs. Some are trying to change their lives, some are trying to hold on to what they have, and some are looking for meaning and connection.
There are ten stories, and each is inspired by, or in response to, a classic short story (or in two cases a poem and a play), and that connection is noted at the beginning of each of these stories. Thus these are both a tribute to those writers and an insight into women's lives. 
I loved the explanation of how these stories came to be in the preface and I also enjoyed an online panel where the author, along with 3 other Canadian older female authors discussed the older women characters in their recent works. It was a fascinating and insightful experience. 
What Else We Talk About When We Talk About Love tells of an unexpected experience of love and wonder when visiting a relative in a hospice.
Grace's Garden tells of a woman trying to hold on to her independence.
Elephants has a woman visiting an art gallery and being reminded of her past loves and friends.
Soothsayer is centered on a woman who has always been aware of her ability to sense things beyond what most see, and who having an unusual experience with a bird thinks on the men in her recent life.
Pansy tells of a woman visiting the town she grew up in and being reminded of her losses in life.
The Things That Mattered has a woman weeping and examines herself dispassionately to understand why.
Guilt: A Discussion is told by a woman living in long term care home, having regular get-togethers and talks with three other women there that have them looking back on their lives, where she makes a surprising confession.
Sisters has three sisters who have travelled from other parts of the country to one sister's home for an annual meeting.
The Departed is told by a woman at a large family Christmas gathering observing everyone there, yet feeling alone.
Downsizing has a woman going through a list of old boyfriends to see if she can find someone to be with now to avoid being alone.
A truly enjoyable reading experience, where I paced myself, allowing one story a day to savour each one.

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