The fact that I picked this one up as soon as I spotted this in my local bookshop this week, is all down to reading one of Peters’ longer works, the fantastic Between Mom and Jo.
And I’m glad I did, because this once again showcases Julie Anne Peter’s skill as a writer. However I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Between Mom and Jo, this is partly down to short fiction not being my favourite medium, and partly because the characters aren’t quite as endearing.
This however is an issue I often find with short story collections, so I went in with those expectations.
All the stories deal with sexuality and GBLT issues in a much more direct manner than, Mom and Jo did, exploring first loves, coming out, sexual abuse, dysfunction, passion and betrayal and everything else in-between.
It’s this directness that sometimes stops this from being a really excellent collection. Some of the stories just needed some more page time, so we could truly explore what was going on, and the how and why it affected the characters.
Of course, some of the stories work wonderfully, and the two that open and close the collection, are ones that do just that.
The opener, explores how difficult it can be to make that opening connection, and the leap of faith it often requires.
And the closing story, looks at how love can grow between two people that have been friends for years.
They are perfect bookends to the rest of the stories.
A good if not brilliant selection of stories, one that is eminently readable, just not one that was as engaging as I was hoping for.