Five Tuesdays in Winter By Lily King

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Five Tuesdays in Winter By Lily King

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Book/Novel Author: Lily King

Book/Novel Title: Five Tuesdays in Winter

 

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“Five Tuesdays in Winter moved me, inspired me, thrilled me. It filled up every chamber of my heart. I loved this book.” —Ann PatchettBy the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Writers & Lovers and Euphoria comes a masterful new collection of short storiesLily King, one of the most “brilliant” (New York Times Book Review), “wildly talented” (Chicago Tribune), and treasured authors of contemporary fiction, returns after her recent bestselling novels with Five Tuesdays in Winter, her first book of short fiction. Told in the intimate voices of complex, endearing characters, Five Tuesdays in Winter intriguingly subverts expectations as it explores desire, loss, jolting violence, and the inexorable tug toward love at all costs. A reclusive bookseller begins to feel the discomfort of love again. Two college roommates have a devastating middle-aged reunion. A proud old man rages powerlessly in his granddaughter’s hospital room. A writer receives a visit from all the men who have tried to suppress her voice. Romantic, hopeful, brutally raw, and unsparingly honest, this wide-ranging collection of ten selected stories by one of our most accomplished chroniclers of the human heart is an exciting addition to Lily King’s oeuvre of acclaimed fiction.
That last story almost ruined the rest of the book for me. Otherwise, the stories are surprisingly good. I had not expected King to be so good at the shorter works. But in their own way, they’re almost as good as her novels. Just different. But seriously that last story should not have been there.
Wow! What a wonderful collection of short stories. I listened to on CD and actually relistened to two of the stories. They linger (in a good way) in your mind. Definitely will read the book too. Just a master class in everyday life.
“Adults hid their pain, their fears, their failure, but adolescents hid their happiness, as if to reveal it would risk its loss” (“North Sea”) Five Tuesdays in Winter is a collection of short stories by acclaimed author, Lily King, who as far as I know, is a novelist. Going into short stories from writing novels might seem easy or lazy for the innocent reader who ignores how much difficult it is to produce the perfect story in a few pages. Julio Cortázar used to say that short stories are like spheres, and under that structure is how I analyzed King’s latest work. Some of the stories needed to be more contained and circular to make the collection 100% remarkable and have no title outshined by others, but as a first collection and coming from novels, I think Lily King’s bold incursion into short stories needs to be celebrated. With 10 stories, Five Tuesdays in Winter creates truly amazing moments of awe, particularly with “Hotel Seattle”, “Timeline”, “Five Tuesdays in Winter”, and “The Man at the Door”. Literary, fast-paced, complex, and polished, these are the jewels of the collection. My favorites are: “Five Tuesdays in Winter”: After finishing the book I realized why this story is the one that gave the title to the collection as it is wholesome but deeply introspective. With more dark tales in the book, highlighting this story about a shy middle-aged man with a bookstore, a daughter, and a crush, King gives the message that hope can blossom anywhere and love takes many forms. My only complaint is that this is the second story in the collection and I think it should have opened it -independently of the title or how good “Creature” is. “The Man at the Door”: is the most literary and complex story of the collection and I think that part of its success is that King relies upon what she knows and feels comfortable with while still finding a challenge. This story is about a female writer (like King and like the protagonist of Writers & Lovers) who writes frenetically and intensely while still caring for her children. Motherhood in this story is crucially intertwined with the art of writing, and how different the standards are for women when it comes to their craft. “The Man at the Door” denounces sexism in the literary world in a quick and engrossing way. The story closed the collection strongly and beautifully. With these two individual highlights, I also want to talk about the collection as a whole. Of course, you want to have a variety of topics, characters, and situations in your collection because that is something that the novel often would not allow you to explore. Characters that are not united by a plot but are presented to the world as part of a unit should be connected by some fine threads of common themes. Five Tuesdays in Winter is no exception, the stories are connected because the characters are all lonely, introspective people in crucial moments of their lives while still living through mundane experiences. As windows to their lives, each story shows us said moments that are filled with grief, fear, nostalgia, and disillusion. They also cover the break from innocent youth to heavy and confusing adulthood that can be isolating and suffocating. Overall, I enjoyed Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King because it speaks to me with its exploration of everyday life and everyday feelings that sometimes we are not ready to talk about, but that the act of reading about them makes us more emphatic to the stranger in the bus, the mom upstairs, and the childhood friend.
Lily King is one of my favorite writers. I know I’ll love every book before I begin. This collection of short stories does not disappoint. They stay with the reader long after.
I’m a huge Lily King fan, and she hit another home run with this collection of stories. I loved every single one, which doesn’t happen that often in collection. What I love most about Lily King’s writing is that she knows how to bring the reader right inside of the emotional lives of her characters. Such a gift.
Not being a huge fan of short stories (usually much prefer full-length novels) I usually take a pass but Lily King is such a talented writer I decided to pick this one up. I found myself truly enjoying each story and was so impressed with how well she can take pack so much punch into a short format. Definitely recommended for fans of Lily King, short stories, or anyone looking for examples of great writing.

 

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