Thursday, May 16, 2013

Alice's Review: The House at Belle Fontaine: Stories

Summary: The powerfully intimate stories within The House at Belle Fontaine span the better part of the twentieth century and almost every continent, laying bare apprehensions, passions, secrets, and tragedies that resonate across time and space. In crisp, spare, and penetrating prose, Lily Tuck unveils and suppresses personal truths as her characters navigate exotic locales and immediate emotional territory: an artist learns that her deceased ex-husband had an especially illicit affair seventeen years before his death; a young couple living in Thailand worries about the mental stability of their best friend, a U. S. army captain; on a ship bound for Antarctica, a retired couple strains to hold together their forty-year-old marriage; and a French family flees to Lima in the 1940s with devastating consequences for their daughters young nanny.

Review: I am a fan of short stories.  I have always believed that writing a short story is more difficult than a novel because you have a limited amount of words in order to get your point across.  Some writers struggle with this, however others are wildly successful.  I believe Lily Tuck is truly gifted.

There were several stories that I especially liked.  Those are The House at Belle Fontaine, Lucky and My Music.

This collection encompassed stories that were very different with the common denominator being Ms. Tuck’s prose.  She writes factually but with certain poetry.  She chooses her words carefully so they have the strongest impact.  Her characters are memorable as well with my favorite being Helen from Lucky.  She was strong, sad, beautiful.

If you enjoy a wonderful collection of short stories, I highly recommend picking this up.  This is perfect for the novice short story reader as well.  I look forward to reading Lily Tuck in the future.  The House at Belle Fontaine:Stories was simply breathtaking.

Final Take: 4/5



Beth Hoffman May 16, 2013 at 1:01 PM  

I've always enjoyed taking a break from my first love (novels) and diving into short stories. This book is on my list and I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

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