Feelings in Staccato

The Book of Stories

Fiction - Anthology
161 Pages
Reviewed on 05/29/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Is life real? Or is it a fantasy? And what is it about life that makes a great story? Is it the art of storytelling itself? What about a loved one who passes away, someone very close, and the ghost visits shortly after death to solve the mystery of the missing wedding ring? And where will this treasure hunt lead? Life is full of stories, both real and imaginary. Simple events like a missing ring or a ‘feast’ that revolved around a unique way of eating a potato. And, if you believe in magic and the wonder of fairy tales, there are those great tales which evolve from reality, tales that must begin with something like, “There once was, as never before – because if there wasn’t, we wouldn’t tell stories about it.” And then the story begins.

Maria Grigorescu’s book, Feelings in Staccato: The Book of Stories, is a compilation of a life full of wonder and the ordinary, or perhaps one might describe them as extraordinary events. The title is interesting, as it refers to an element of music. Staccato in music refers to sharply detached notes. Perhaps this collection of stories is equally “sharply detached,” making the blend of real and imaginary an individual moment, a time capsule photo clip of life frozen for eternity. The stories are well constructed, engaging, and fascinating. They don’t need to be read in order as they stand completely independent and on their own. The collection includes fantasy stories, crime, Romanian history and traditions, and just fun, interesting family stories. Life is full of stories and this is just one example of how full life really is.

Jessica Barbosa

Feelings in Staccato: The Book of Stories by Maria Grigorescu is a collection of short tales ranging from mystery to fantasy. This collection of stories transport readers to Australia and Romania, providing unique and compelling tales along the way. Come and read this timeless group of short stories and find yourself immersed in a world of wonder.

Feelings in Staccato's first chapter grabs the reader's attention with its unique concept of familial love and the tale of a ghost mixed in with the drama. Maria Grigorescu’s introductory tale of a ghost aunt and her confused but well-meaning niece is a great way to start such an intriguing collection of tales with different genres. Reading this book was like traveling all over the world through various periods, witnessing so many unique sights, and living in the shoes of so many different people. Each chapter had its own tale to add and I had fun not knowing what was in store for me next with every chapter I finished. From mystery to fantasy to hurt and comfort, the stories represent a variety of themes that often speak to my heart. I have learned, laughed, and mourned throughout the pages. I could never expect the next emotion the next story would bring me.

One tale that stood out to me the most would be the simple tale of Marisa’s Lake. It had a fairytale-like quality to it and my heart ached when I read this beautiful, heartbreaking narrative. Two stories within a story: the tale of Marisa and Agapia’s grandfather stuck with me and I feel that whoever reads this collection of short stories would also feel the same way about at least a few of the twenty-one tales. Feelings in Staccato took me on a fascinating adventure and this book has a timeless quality to the stories that had me spellbound from the very first page. Great job!

Joy Hannabass

Feelings in Staccato by Maria Grigorescu is a very nice collection of short stories I think you will enjoy with its huge range of topics. There are stories from Romania, Australia, and especially Perth, as well as other places, and they range from 44 BC to 2021. I highly respect author Maria Grigorescu and her in-depth knowledge of each country and topic she wrote about. She has expert information coming from her living in these places and the research she does.

Reading the entire collection, I thought sure I would find a story I liked better than the first one, Aunt Mary, but it wasn't to be. Even though I know a dead person's ghost doesn't follow you around, giving you their last wishes, it is just a fun story and a fun one for me. With its seriousness, death, sadness, humor, and 'uh oh' moments, Aunt Mary will have you in tears of sadness one moment and tears of laughter the next. I love Joan and the 'uh oh' moments when things had to be accomplished fast, or she would be caught by Charlotte. I like that the stories are based on real-life events. With twenty-one stories, you are sure to find a few that you will love and enjoy. I will admit there were a few that were not my favorites, but they may be your very favorites! This book is fantastic for those who like short stories over full-length novels. Some stories are shorter than others so you can pick and choose what story you have time to read. If you enjoy reading and don't have time for a long book, I encourage you to try Feelings in Staccato by Maria Grigorescu.