I am sad that my month of reading Pekkanen until I puke is over. I've had so much fun and pleasure exploring all of Sarah's beautiful books. It wasn't a puking scenario at all, but one filled with joy.
I have learned that I should dream up these projects more often. The last time I had a binge was before blogging, one summer when I read every single Jack Reacher mystery thriller, all in a row. I'm thinking of planning a John Green (Green Until You Groan?) fest sometime soon. And after my one day immersion into the world of mystery writers at the Sleuthfest, I've been hankering for some honest to goodness murder and mayhem. Things to think about...
So. What a way to end my binge. "All is Bright" is another short story, loosely linked with "Love, Accidentally". This was the cherry (and whipped cream, strawberry sauce and nuts) on top of my month.
Synopsis: Elise has just broken up with her high school sweetheart Griffin. They had been together for a better part of her life, but at 30, it dawned on Elise that she could not bring herself to marry him and needed to move on. The hardest part of the breakup was not leaving Grif though...they would always be friends. It was the separation from his mother, who had always been a stand-in for Elise's mother who had died when she was young.
When Elise goes back home for the holidays to see her grandmother, she also must come to terms with the inevitable change in her relationship with Griffin's parents, especially since he is now engaged to another woman. But it is Christmas, and sometimes blessings come when you least expect them.
My thoughts: I bought this short story on my Kindle, and at the end there is an excerpt to "Skipping a Beat". I knew this, but because of this fact, you don't really know at what percentage the story is going to end. I was enjoying the heck out of this story...I knew the characters after all! It was old home week! ("Love, Accidentally" is about Griffin and Ilsa, the new girlfriend, where Elise makes a cameo appearance.) I settled down in my reading chair, feeling all happy and warm, and...the story ended! It was done! I was so disappointed. I really wanted more, yet it ended on a perfect note.
There was one part of the story that I must share with you. Elise goes to visit her grandmother in the retirement home, and in the middle of a weak tearful moment, she is suddenly surrounded by a group of elderly women known as the Seven Widows of Windham. They offer her a nip of gin and advice on life, which they dispense after assuring her that between them, they've had "three divorces, one face-lift and possible other unconfirmed work, two adulterous affairs - of course they were long ago, but one was interracial, which adds an extra bit of spice - a gambling addiction - ". The banter is hilarious and whip-smart. It made me hope that someday, if I find myself in a retirement home, there is a similar group of women there to take care of me. This is the humor that Pekkanen adds to her work that makes it such a pleasure to read.
4.5 out of 5 stars