PARADISE CAFÉ AND OTHER STORIES
Volume 17 Number 2
The fourteen short stories that make up this collection are all under ten pages in length. Thus, they make excellent material for study in a secondary English class. The stories have a common thread in that they all involve teenagers, they all involve love of one type or another, and they all investigate the pain of coming of age that surrounds dealing with that love.
Ardis is humiliated when her love is not returned by the handsomest boy in the class. Deirdre attempts in vain to persuade her dad to date. Donalda relives a past crush on a cousin in "Like Lauren Bacall," only to find out that the object of her crush and years of fantasizing about the relationship are only a hopeless dream.
In addition to exploring love as a central theme, the author deals with several other contemporary teen problems: peer pressure, popularity, dating, family relationships and sibling rivalry.
Written for teenage and adult audiences, the book deals with the overwhelming questions that teenagers explore about love but does it in a manner that causes the reader to pause and consider all facets of love relationships, not just the classic boy / girl type.
Particularly because of the excellent diction and use of figurative speech, this book might be considered part of any creative writing program. It is among the best short story collections I have read in a long time!
Gail Lennon, Lambton County Board of Education, Sarnia, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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