- good read, for men or women! Review by Review by Ross Doughty, real name
Women writers, in their fictional work, often wreak their revenge on the real or imagined sins of the men whose lives they have crossed. As a consequence, men read women writers with a degree of trepidation, and I was no exception when I commenced the reading of Sue Singelton's The Promise. However, I was delighted to find no signs of that fault in Sue's anthology of short stories. Instead, her stories are circumspect, not just on male-female relationships, but more remarkably, just as even-handed with the victims and perpetrators of some fairly nasty events.
Make no mistake, Sue pulls no punches: whether her character is a wayward wife or an errant eye surgeon, each is revealed to the curious reader warts and all. Sometimes they get their just desserts; sometimes they don't. There is always a clear accounting for each character's behaviour. There is little doubt that Sue's qualifications, a Masters Degree in Psychology (and her experience in that field), is the reason that her varied and often disturbed cast of characters are so believable.
The stories are presented without any pretence, without any view to convert the reader and, in my view, this is their greatest strength. The stories are laid out for the reader like cleverly patterned Turkish rugs in a marketplace. You look, you choose, but wait for the story to end before you judge, because you may find an errant character made a decision for a reason compelled by their own background. You may even feel sympathy for so-called 'wayward' or 'guilty'.
I confess to knowing Sue Singleton and it became an unusual and interesting experience to read her disturbing - yet enlightening - stories. Be careful who you acquaint yourself with ... because you may not know what that person is really thinking. Perhaps she is finalising a story in which you are a fictional villain! Better, I suppose, than being a victim in real life. (Posted on 9/05/12)
(Posted on 2/09/12)
- The Promise is a book for those who are interested in both the strengths and weaknesses of the human character Review by Lucia Fam
The Promise begins with the novella after which the book is named and is followed by fourteen bite-sized short stories; perfect for those who only have time to snatch a quick read. Perfect for someone like myself.
All stories reflect the author’s ability to look into the lives of others, no doubt a result of her work as a psychologist. The thought provoking situations within many of the stories at times leave the reader sympathetic to or frustrated by the plight of others. On more than one occasion I finished a story feeling immensely grateful for the life I have lead and the people within it..
The Promise is a book for those who are interested in both the strengths and weaknesses of the human character, overcoming life’s adversities or who just enjoy a thought provoking read.
(Posted on 19/06/12)
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