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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
“Derangement happens when the story is denied.” Queen of the Sugarhouse is a collection of literary short stories by Constance Studer. In Mercy, Nurse Ann is remorseful after giving a patient the wrong medication but fears legal repercussions. Meet veteran Benjamin Tyler, who believes he’s treated unfairly when denied medical benefits in the story, Shelter. Think Beauty is about Caroline’s attempts to look younger for a competitive job industry, yet she wonders why Alice's overweight friend is content with her life. Dr. Cox’s obsession with work interferes with his personal life, but he is ready to make adjustments in Shifts. While Maria’s brother, Tommy, applies for disabled housing to lead a more independent life, despite having muscular dystrophy, Maria remembers their childhood and worries about her own Special Needs when she becomes pregnant.
“To heal, the patient needs to rediscover his story.” Constance Studer’s nine short stories are different literary medical themes, containing characters who have minor complexities to sort out in their befuddled lives. Her stories are written expressively, sharing the characters' state of mind, problems, and personal thoughts of their intricate pasts and healing process. Stories like Mercy, Shelter, and Queen of the Sugarhouse are very realistic and touching with good dialogue. I thought others also had good social issue content. Constance Studer has a smooth writing flair and a knack for innovative, reflective stories with interesting conclusions. Queen of the Sugarhouse by Constance Studer is a lovely compilation of short prose that makes a quick “grab n’ read.”