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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Retired journalist Spencer Hatton has written a book of short stories entitled Counting Crows: Stories of Love, Laughter and Loss. He writes with skill, humor and sadness about issues such as family illnesses and deaths, personal triumphs and the remarkable lives of people that most of us will never know. Stories about the deaths of his wife and special needs son were difficult reading and, at times, I wondered if maybe the stories should be included in a book on special needs teachers and students. However, the stories did fit into the theme and they displayed insight into the difficult lives of caretakers for the terminally ill and those with special needs. The stories were poignant and graphic in their courage and their sadness.
There was a section on meeting well known people in which author Hatton describes how he "nearly met" a host of celebrities. I really liked the section on Hatton's family life as it brought back many memories of the sixties and seventies which most readers will incorporate with their own strong memories of decades past. The short story about the author's second wedding in Las Vegas brought chuckles while the story about the Queen Mum's visit to a settlement home gave insight into the sense of humanity that accompanies royalty. Counting Crows has something for almost every reader. Perhaps the most soul-searching section was the one entitled In Search of Answers in which Hatton pays tribute to a myriad of ordinary people who manage to make an extraordinary impact simply by living their own values.