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Reviewed by Golder Hazelton for Readers' Favorite
A Collection of Very Short Stories by Cheryl Holloway, as its title implies, is a fascinating series of ironic, whimsical, engaging vignettes, each one written to highlight a single chosen word and each one delightful. The titles of these literary 'bonnes bouches' are diverse, ranging from "Mammy" to "Spotted-dick" to "Shins." It is worth a read of this extraordinary collection just to see all the marvelous ways that Cheryl Holloway expands upon and expounds upon her chosen words and ideas. Some recurring themes include African American lore, the ironies of luck and love, and social and cultural double standards – the result being that readers will find these tiny tales highly entertaining and thought-provoking.
A Collection of Very Short Stories would make an ideal bathroom or bedside reader, leisure time diversion, or book club feature – the potential applications are as varied and tantalizing as the stories themselves. Apart from the fascinating historical pearls sprinkled throughout the text, Holloway’s wry humor and matter-of-fact witticisms are compelling and memorable. Holloway is clearly an author who derives great pleasure from being a part of the joyous, quirky tapestry of human existence, and that pleasure will no doubt prove infectious for her readers. The author’s notes reveal that Holloway’s very short stories are based on real people and events, and she pens them in the succinct, conversational, and accessible style often associated with the oral tradition among storytellers. As a result, the book has a folklore-ish feel that is both winning and inviting, as if to say, “Pull up a chair and listen a spell!” Cheryl Holloway’s A Collection of Very Short Stories is a sure bet for anyone who enjoys breezy, bright storytelling in the time-honored tradition of good old-fashioned fun. Loved these stories!