Welcome to Literary R&R's stop on Elisabeth Doyle's War Stories book blog tour, hosted by Tribute Books.
Elisabeth Doyle is a writer and attorney living in Washington, D.C. She studied fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the University at Albany, and is completing a Masters of Laws Degree at Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Doyle's short fiction was published in the literary journal Nadir and was awarded the University at Albany's Lovenheim Prize for best short fiction. Her first short film, Hard Hearted One, was admitted into the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema and the Street Films Film Festival, and was shown on Public Television and Manhattan Cable. War Stories is her first collection of short fiction.
ISBN #: 978-1937928407
Page Count: 119
Copyright: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
We all carry our own battle scars.
This is the premise of War Stories, a rich collection of short fiction that draws upon both the literal and figurative meaning of its title. Through a diverse array of characters, settings, and circumstances, War Stories delivers a series of powerful tales from the home front of war: the stories of parents, siblings, and spouses of those who have fought, as well as those who have returned from battle.
Set against the backdrop of contemporary conflicts, War Stories' compelling nine narratives tell of a wounded veteran who seeks renewal through an imagined relationship with a neighborhood girl, a grieving father who finds peace and reconciliation at the site of a disastrous bus crash, a young woman who searches for identity and meaning in the wake of her husband's injury, and an urban teenager engaged in a fateful standoff with local recruiters. Interspersed with these tales are powerful, non-traditional "war stories" - of youth, unexpected loss, and heartbreaking love.
War Stories' thoughtful and beautifully crafted tales, which range in style from deceptively simple to rich and complex, tell of people young and old, male and female, who share two things: humanity and resilience. These diverse and deftly written stories are joined through Elisabeth Doyle's remarkable style and ease in creating a universe full of despair, hope, and dreams. At turns tender and harsh, tragic and yearning, these stories will leave you wanting more.
Everyone has a war story. If you've lived long enough, chances are you've gone through an experience that has changed you in some way. Sometimes those changes are so fundamental you cannot even pinpoint what the exact change is. You just know you've been changed. You just know you have battle scars. You encountered a war.
War doesn't always involve the military, although there are stories in this book that have that aspect to them. A person's war can be emotional, physical, or spiritual. It can be a situation that has one defining moment that is often not noticed until after the 'war' is over.
These stories tell you of a few people's wars. They will leave you wanting more as they all seem to end with a cliffhanger. For many of them I was disappointed that it ended the way it did ... not because the story wasn't well-told, but because I wanted to know the ending. I wanted to know exactly how the person changed after their defining moment.
The book is fairly easy to read being a little over 100 pages, but it contains stories that will cause you to think and reflect. They are stories that will echo through your being.
*A physical copy of the book was provided by the tour host in exchange for an honest review.