Tuesday 1 September 2015

Review: Honeydew by Edith Pearlman

Honeydew by Edith Pearlman
Publisher: John Murray Press
Release date: 27 August 2015
Rating: ***
Back cover blurb: Over the last few decades, Edith Pearlman has staked her claim as one of the great short-story writers. The stories in Honeydew are unmistakably by Pearlman; whole lives in ten pages. They are minutely observant of people, of their foibles and failings, but also of their moments of kindness and truth. Whether the characters are Somalian women who've suffered circumcision, a special child with pentachromatic vision or a staid professor of Latin unsettled by a random invitation to lecture on the mystery of life and death, Pearlman knows each of them intimately and reveals them with generosity.

Honeydew is a little difficult for me to review, having not really reviewed this kind of work before.

Honeydew is a collection of short stories, twenty in total; Tenderfoot, Dream Children, Castle, Stone, Her Cousin Jamie, Blessed Harry, Puck, Assisted Living, What the Ax Forgets the Tree Remembers, The Golden Swan, Cul-de-sac, Deliverance, Fishwater, Wait and See, Flowers, Conveniences, Hat Trick, Sonny, The Descent of Happiness, Honeydew.

Honeydew's stories vary in their length, but this is a book that you could sit down and either read in one go, or keep going back to, one story at a time. Each of the stories is lovingly written, and in the right time and place this would be a glorious collection. Unfortunately for me, it wasn't a collection that I loved. I didn't particularly warm to any of the characters, or their stories, but I think there will be plenty who will.

Honeydew might not be up everyone's street, but it will be a rare treat for those who do embrace it.

Honeydew is available to buy now from Amazon online.
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Thank you to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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