Eclairs for Tea and Other Stories by Julia Blake
Star Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Short stories, Fiction
Buy the book: Amazon
Synopsis (from Amazon): Eclairs for Tea and other stories is a wonderful, eclectic, mix of short stories, flash fiction and poetry, to be dipped in and out of, and enjoyed at your own pace. Eclairs for Tea - There was something very important Kevin had told her not to forget. If only she could remember what it was Taproot - As war raged in the skies above, Meg fought her own battle against growing up, and her fears for her brother Do You Believe? - Susan was never one for flights of fancy, so what is she to think, when her daughter tells her a fairy has taken up residence at the bottom of the garden Vicious Circle - As far as DI Cass Sawyer is concerned, the past should remain firmly in the past, but, it seems time may have a different idea Lifesong – If there is life on other worlds, what would it be like? What would they make of us? Along with many other heart-warming, surprising tales, interspersed with the author’s quirky poems about modern life, this is a book you’ll want to read again and again…
I was fortunate enough to win a signed copy from @JuliaBlakeAuthor herself, which makes me so happy. Look at this lovely inscription and postcard she included!
Like the description above says, this is a really mixed bag of poems and short stories. It ranges from inspirational to general fiction and sci-fi. I was honestly not sure what to expect when I settled down with this pretty little book. I'm still not sure how to describe it except to say I really enjoyed it.
There are over twenty different pieces in here, plus the novella Lifesong, which I previously did a review for here if you want to read it. So the more I read, the more I realize the different areas in which authors excel. Some are masters of decadent descriptions that drug you in a sensory haze. Others have action scenes so epic you feel like you're watching a Marvel movie. And some are a jack of all trades. I feel like Julia Blake is one of these latter authors. I always find her writing tight and thoroughly enjoyable. These twenty something works are everything the pieces needs to be. Every single one of them! Given how different they all are, I would expect there to be weak spots, but they're all super solid.
I've just written so many paragraphs and words to try and get to the heart of what it is I like so much about these stories. I keep coming out with things that make it sound mediocre, which it absolutely isn't, so time for me to ramble, okay? Here's the thing, I don't really care for general fiction/everyday life kind of stuff. It's just not my cuppa tea. A lot of these stories and poems are in that category. There's nothing supernatural or fantastical about them (though some of the others are that way), but Julia Blake still made me care about those everyday snapshots. There's not a lot of time to get invested. In some cases, it's less than a page, and yet by the end I cared deeply about the characters involved.
Morning Madness is so accurate it hurts.
Relative Endings and Eclairs for Tea took my heart out for some light curb-biting. Same goes for My Friend's Father and The Fat Club.
Vicious Circle (which does brush lightly up against the paranormal genre) and Don't Hurt Me are creepy as all get out. I refuse to read them at night.
A Strange Kind of Love and Unicorn Dreams, both fitting snugly into the SF&F areas, are really sweet and made my heart happy.
So yeah, there's just a lot of different things to like about this book. There were a few wee things I didn't enjoy. Honestly they're my own personal preferences, nothing technically wrong with the writing or the stories.
Did you notice I made eclairs to go with? Have you read this book? If so, let me know what you thought in the comments. I'd love to discuss it over these yummies and a pot of tea. Thanks for reading!