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Book Review

The Sweetest Hours : Love Stories...of a Kind, Laura Pedersen

The Sweetest Hours : Love Stories...of a Kind

Laura Pedersen
Book Surge Publishing, February 2006
Short Stories

Reviewer: Amber Stults
Posted: February 1, 2008

* * * * * *

The unifying theme of Laura Pedersenís short story collection The Sweetest Hours is love. Usually the word conjures images associated with romantic love. Pedersen sets out to explore many forms of this powerful emotion in her twelve stories. Some will be familiar such as the love between sisters, the love and desire for fame and fortune or the crush on the lifeguard while less familiar would be the love one may have for a cherished teacher or the love a scientist has for one of his subjects, a dolphin, no less.

The collection starts off with Gus Hunts for a Job. Iíve often heard it said that a happy dog is one that has a job. Gus is an English Mastiff whose role in his household changed as each child grew up. As the last one looks towards college Gus feels his days of having an exciting career are over. The adventures he has are comical and believable.

. Most haunting of all the stories is True to Her Word. Months after reading this story it is the character of Muriel that stays with me like the memory of an old friend who has moved across the country and is living in a different time zone which makes it difficult to stay connected. I wonder what sheís doing and if sheís happy with her life. .

Sharon, Murielís younger sister, has died from breast cancer. Sharon is survived by her children and Muriel. Itís left to them to decide what to do with Sharonís bookstore. Murielís niece is grown up with a family of her own and her nephew is still in college with no desire to own a bookstore in a resort town. He spent the last summer of Sharonís life there but he has his own life to lead. .

As a child and an adult, Murielís mostly kept herself from others; she allowed herself to open up around children and loved books with a passion. Rumors about Muriel have swirled about the town for years but no one ever made an attempt to get to know her when she was seen. One day alone in the bookstore and connections are made with residents and tourists alike. .

Pedersenís stories never seem like a rehash of a previous story and each can stand on its own. She varies the tone, settings and points of views which can keep a reader interested from start to finish. Some short story collections Iíve read donít have this much variety or humor.

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Copyright Info

The Sweetest Hours : Love Stories...of a Kind, Laura Pedersen
Book Surge Publishing, February 2006

Review © Amber Stults, 2008

Segments quoted from this review must give credit to both the reviewer--Amber Stults and The review may not be resold or re-distributed in any manner without express, written consent from the reviewer and/or

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