By The Wayside by Anne Leigh Parrish, published by Unsolicited Press
ABOUT THE BOOK
Marvelous. Honest. Generous. From the first story to the last, "By the Wayside" catches your attention and demands that you give into its every whirl. Each character unfolds with a precision that will have you wondering how Parrish managed to create such real-to-the-bones people within a world that captivates you with ease.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anne Leigh Parrish is the author of three previously published books: All The Roads That Lead From Home, stories (Press 53, 2011);Our Love Could Light The World, stories (She Writes Press, 2013); and What Is Found, What Is Lost, a novel, (She Writes Press, 2014). She is also the author of over forty published short stories, including those appearing in By The Wayside, a complete list of which may be found on the publications tab of her website.
MY REVIEW - from Ally Fell
5 out of 5 stars
This is an almost perfect collection of short stories. Each one is filled with beautiful detail and populated by amazingly real and diverse characters. It is extremely impressive the amount of character development that Parrish accomplishes in just a few short pages of storytelling.
Furthermore, the stories themselves draw you in. Each is a window into a person’s life. Most share empowering tales of people taking control of their lives. They leave an uplifting impression, particularly after so easily sliding into the characters’ lives.
It’s a fairly quick read that I would highly recommend. Truly, Parrish is a master of character creation. She spins what is usually detrimental to creating true individuals, the short story format, into a real advantage. And she accomplishes this heavy task all while sharing compelling stories with strong themes. The only thing you’ll regret is how soon it’s over; just as you get comfy walking around in those characters’ skins, their story is done being told.
DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.
MY REVIEW - Jessica Bucci
This eighteen-story collection contains unique short stories featuring strong, realistic, and relatable characters. Anne Leigh Parrish does a beautiful job crafting stories that are each so different from one another that they could stand on their own. The stories vary in length, but Anne’s writing style and tone of voice stay consistent from story to story, creating a nice flow. She utilizes simple sentences that are easy to understand and read, while also supplying enough detail to be able to imagine the scene. Each character has their own problems to face within the stories, allowing readers to be able to connect with at least one, if not more. It allows reader to reflect on his or her own lives and potential. Anne’s characters were what drew me to this collection and what kept me reading. Their unique ability to find themselves or solve their problems is inspiring. My two favorite stories were ‘How She Was Found,’ and ‘The Fall.’
I would recommend this collection to readers who enjoy down-to-earth characters featured in easy to read stories.
MY REVIEW - Amy O
4 out of 5 stars
I found this story collection to be well-written and filled with a multitude of relatable, strong female characters. The characters were similar but each was strong in her own way, and each story offered a unique plot, many of which examined societal constraints women face. Although I liked these characters, I sometimes found myself wanting more development of their experiences. Some of the stories ended a bit abruptly, and some of the underlying concepts felt too similar to other work I’ve read. Overall, though, this was a pleasant read, and I would recommend it to those who enjoy character-driven short stories.
MY REVIEW – Elizabeth F.
I really enjoyed this story collection! Anne Leigh has a lovely writing style reminiscent of classic fairytales, which brings the characters and scenes alive in readers’ minds. I love the descriptions of characters and settings as they allow us glimpses into their mindsets and show us how they have come to be where they are. Each story focuses on a different protagonist with their own unique backgrounds and challenges, and the author does a great job of showing how relationships with the other characters impact the protagonist’s mindset and how they will choose to handle those challenges.
The stories work both on their own and as part of the larger collection, which I definitely recommend to others. Both women and men will appreciate these characters and their determination to find their way in a world which isn’t always kind to them.