5 Reasons to Leave a Lover - A Novella and Other Short Stories by Carolyn Moncel
Genre: Novella, Short Stories
Pages: 106 (ebook)
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In 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover, author Carolyn Moncel offers up a fresh batch of stories based on love and loss. As singer/songwriter, Paul Simon so eloquently suggested in a famous song from the 1970s, there are many ways to leave a lover. However, Moncel's characters demonstrate that the reasons for leaving in the first place are quite finite. Encounters in Paris` Ellery and Julien Roulet return, picking up their lives where the short story, "Pandora`s Box Revisited," ends. This time the Roulets are involved in a love triangle, and along with two other couples, must explore how love relationships are affected and splinter due to abuse, ambivalence, deception, cheating and death. This bittersweet collection of tales proves that some breakups are necessary; while others are voluntary; and still others are simply destined and beyond anyone's control.
Set Yourself Free, Ellery
In this novella, Ellery discovers that Julien, her husband, has been unfaithful. Julien has made poor decisions and struggles with how to set things right. However, his actions have touched so many people, making it impossible for anyone to escape unscathed. I don't usually like stories about cheating but Ms. Moncel did a great job with the characters and their side of the story. I didn't feel like the story condoned infidelity, nor did it make it any less complex than it is in real life.
Maybe Just Leave, Steve
This cute short story keeps the reader in the dark about the narrator's identity for much of the story. Slowly Ms. Moncel lays down clues that allows for an intriguing and enjoyable read. I really enjoyed this story more than I ever though I would. I started to figure out that something was a little different and I really enjoyed this one because it discusses loss from a character that is often overlooked.
Maybe in Death, Beth
This short story is a bit sad and tells the story of the ending of a relationship that lasted over 70 years. This was my least favorite of the three but it was still very good. I found that it made a good addition to complete the theme.
Overall, I really enjoyed these stories. I typically avoid novellas and short stories like the plague but I've really had some great experiences lately. I love these because I never felt like something was missing. Each story was narrow in scope so I didn't feel like the story was underdeveloped. Yet, each conveyed a different emotion in a way that allowed the reader to become attached in such a short amount of time. This read was truly a very pleasant surprise.