I was given the rare invitation to read an advance copy of Joan H. Young's new book, Accidentally Yours. It's an honor when a colleague and friend trusts you to read their work before it is released "into the wilds". I was humbled by her request, and delighted by the read.
This collection of short stories, essays, and poetry is like a Literary Advent Calendar; each time I turned the page, I was given a little gift of story, perspective, and art. It was impossible to take it slowly. This work was so well-crafted that I opened the pages at every opportunity... while eating breakfast, while waiting at doctors appointments, and in the evening while unwinding with the dogs nearby. Each turn of the page enticed me to read more... pleasantly to the detriment of my "real" work.
Remarkable in this writing are the flash fiction pieces sprinkled throughout. The art of writing a complete story in just a few short lines is a difficult skill to master. Joan does it here with an acumen and comfort that reveals the true nature of her outstanding writing gifts.
The inclusion of excerpts from her previously published works, North Country Cache: Adventures on a National Scenic Trail (and it's sister volume to be released soon), the contributions she's made to periodicals, and her Dead Mule Swamp and The Dubois Files series', was a lovely tickle to the brain, insisting that readers explore those books, as well. The pull to go in every direction that Joan leads is akin to white water rafting... an adrenaline rush that keeps you paddling harder, with the expectation that you'll become refreshingly drenched in story.
My favorite piece in this collection is titled, "The Case of the Cautious Couple". It's an amusing crime-whodunit-noir, expertly crafted with intrigue and a twisty ending I didn't see coming. Joan took the three styles and deftly infused them with a playfulness that is simultaneously intelligent and out-loud-giggle worthy. I delighted in her antics with character names, and the secret, deftly hidden in plain view, that drove the narrative. This one, I can easily imagine as a one-act stage play... oh the fun that could be had by actors and audience alike!
This is a fabulous book... one that I will keep on hand to re-read frequently!
Connect with this extraordinary new collection in E-book format HERE!
Check back in a little while for the Print link.
Watch my interivew with Joan on Indie Reads TV!
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