Stumbling Through Adulthood

Linked Stories

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
233 Pages
Reviewed on 08/13/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Stumbling Through Adulthood: Linked Stories by award-winning author John Sheirer is a unique collection of short stories which are subtly linked. There are thirty-one short stories in this anthology with characters that reappear in different stages of their lives. One of my favorites is Are You Him? which opens the novel with a deceptively simple plot until readers discover the rich layers of its narrative. Something New is about a struggling writer who gets her inspiration for a new book in a most unusual way. Not Getting Flirted At The Gym is about an unmarried Lutheran minister who will reappear unexpectedly and I loved the plot twist in Character Sketch, a story about an artist who specializes in drawing potential children. Sheirer’s characters stagger through life on their way to an uncertain future, and each has an exciting story to tell.

John Sheirer’s Stumbling Through Adulthood is an absorbing read. The range of the stories has been perfectly selected, and recognizing the characters as they reappear in other stories is like finding another piece of a puzzle. Reading this book is like getting a glimpse of snippets of life in the modern-day United States. There are a wide variety of themes like family, friendship, work, relationships, and politics. A master storyteller, Sheirer shifts from one writing style to another, enthralling his readers with his prose. Through it all, his stories are united by a critical examination of the thrill and risk of human connection between lovers, friends, siblings, parents, and children, as they go on and stumble through the changes in their lives. Highly recommended!