A passionate December love affair.
The meeting of an unexpected traveler.
The consequences of protecting a young new acquaintance.
A journey into an unknown past.
In these stories Jeremy Lane eloquently describes the life changing impact of the brief encounter, showing that life and love are not shaped by an entire lifetime, but by the fleeting moments with unexpected people in unexpected places.
This was another review request that I'm very glad to have received. Mr. Lane is an excellent writer whose stories are consistently strong throughout the volume and I enjoyed every one of them. They're all different, dealing with heavy and complex subjects such as the effects of a parents' divorce on the life of a child when he grows up, trusting a stranger, child abuse, etc., but this seriousness and the characters' desire to do something while they're still themselves unites these stories set in different places at different times in history into one whole.
I liked the writing, the characters developed so fully in such a short span of time, the setting of small town America captured so perfectly that having lived in a tiny rural town in the South I couldn't help but wonder at the author's skill. I liked the intimacy of it all, there was never a sense of looking in from the outside, which is always a good thing.
The titular desire of one character in every story wanting to do something while they were still themselves was very effective in some of the stories and not so much in others. On those occasions I wondered what is it these characters anticipated would happen to them that would prevent them from remaining who they were and that was somewhat distracting. I felt that while the intention was excellent in those several stories it was forced and didn't serve the collection as well as it could have.
All in all this is a very enjoyable book and since it is a collection of short stories you can read them in one sitting or one at a time. And yes, you can read the whole book in one sitting, it is small enough to do that and engaging enough to make you not want to put it down unless you have to. Mr. Lane is definitely an author to watch.