Posts Tagged With: Sarah Salway

Something Beginning With by Sarah Salway

This book was published in the US as The ABCs of Love. Whatever the name, it’s not an easy book to describe. It’s written in an almost diary format, but the entries are alphabetically arranged. So, we have a few thoughts on Ambition, Ants and Attitude, before moving on to Baked Beans, Best Friends.. etc. In this way, Verity tells her story. It sounds odd, but it works.

We find out a little about her past, her feelings about her best friend’s affair with a married man, then also Verity’s own love affair, also with a married man.

On the surface, this appears to be your usual ‘chick lit’ type book, just told in an unusual way. However, Sarah’s skill is the way she writes her narrator.. she has captured a rather naive, easily-lead young girl, along with all her thoughts and feelings. It can be read as a rather straight-forward little tale, or if you look for it, you will find a lot more told between the lines. It’s a book that will make you smile, then make you think.

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Messages by Sarah Salway and Lynne Rees

The concept behind this book was to write 300 pieces, each consisting of exactly 300 words. The two authors took it in turns, with a 72 hour deadline for each one. Each piece was to have some connection to the previous, be it the theme, or just a word.

The book opens with a short introduction from each author, which adds a personal touch right at the outset. Tucked inside the messages is a further personal one, just waiting to be found.

The messages themselves are varied, ranging from touching, to amusing. Some of the links between the pieces are obvious, some more subtle.. and that’s part of the joy of this book, you have no idea what awaits you as you turn each page.

I’ve previously read Sarah’s Leading The Dance, a collection of short stories which I enjoyed, and will be going back to. I am now awaiting the arrival of The Oven House, by Lynne Rees, as I very much enjoyed her style too. The two ladies compliment each other well, and I’d love to know who wrote which piece. 🙂

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Leading the Dance by Sarah Salway

Leading the Dance is a collection of short stories, bound together by the concept of secrets within everyday life. Sarah manges to write colourful characters, and fascinating tales, all presented within a few pages, something that I believe takes great writing skill.

Some of my personal highlights include a woman who has a portrait done of the contents of her fridge, which seems amusing, but deals with bulimia; a wife who secretly follows her husband’s affair via his emails; a touching tale of two sisters and their loneliness; a boy who has been taught to ignore his mother’s afternoon visitors; and especially the woman who locks another woman in her basement!

I can honestly say that not one tale within this collection disappointed, and I’m sure everyone will find their own personal favourite. Despite being very short, each one seems to have depth, and I will certainly be going back to read them again.

I very much enjoyed Sarah’s voice, and the way she writes, and I will be actively hunting more of her work.

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