Sunday, 24 March 2013

Irish Fiction Month Review: Sheila O'Flanagan - From the Heart

From the Heart reveals the unexpected tales that lie beneath the surface of every-day lives, through a memorable cast of characters all in search of their own happy endings. A hot date gets off to a disastrous start; a young couple long for peace and quiet as they prepare for their first Christmas as parents; two eavesdropping passengers realise they share more in common than they had thought; a couple celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, wondering if it's all a sham; and Isobel from Isobel's Wedding encounters an unexpected reunion in a luxurious Caribbean getaway.

A touching and heart-warming selection of stories taken from Sheila O'Flanagan's bestselling collections Destinations, Connections and A Season to Remember, available together exclusively in this digital-only edition. 

Unfortunately, this month I did not manage to review as many Irish books as I had originally planned due to various other commitments, so this weekend I decided to read one of the short story collections that has been sitting on my Kindle for a while, From the Heart by bestselling author Sheila O'Flanagan.  This collection contained five stories that all dealt with different aspects of relationships.

In A Peaceful Christmas we meet Laura and Jim who are new parents who are struggling to deal with the demands of overbearing parents for their daughter's first Christmas.  Will they be able to come up with a compromise to please everyone?

But my favourite story from the collection has to be Isobel's Reunion, a long-awaited sequel to Isobel's Wedding, in which we get to meet Isobel again and find out how things have turned out for her since her non-wedding to fiance Tim. She's back working in Spain when her boss gives her a surprise Christmas gift, free holiday tickets to the White Sands resort in the Caribbean.  Whilst there Isobel bumps into a significant person from her past, what is he doing there and will they be able to put everything behind them and start again?

If I'm honest the other three stories I could take or leave as they didn't draw me in which as I've said previously is why I don't generally read short story collections as most of the time they don't feel like they're going anywhere.

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