Our Love Could Light the World

Our Love Could Light the World

by Anne Leigh Parrish

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938314445
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 06/03/2013
Pages: 202
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Anne Leigh Parrish’s debut story collection,  All The Roads That Lead From Home , won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards silver medal for best short story fiction. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in  The Virginia Quarterly Review, Clackamas Literary Review, among other publications. She is the fiction editor for  Eclectica Magazine. She lives in Seattle. To learn more, visit her at www.anneleighparrish.com.

Table of Contents

Contents

Our Love Could Light The World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

And To The Ones Left Behind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Just Another Lost Soul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Trouble . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

A Simple Theory of Heartache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Into My Loving Arms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

Maggie’s Dare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

The Concept of Kindness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

The Sorrow of The Country . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

The Ordeal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

The Caregiver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155

Lavinia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173

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Our Love Could Light the World 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
We all have some "Dugans" in our neighborhood, or have known them at some point. Poverty-stricken and their home and yard in a shambles. On the outside, they seem to be a wreck and loveless. But you don't know what's going on behind the scenes. You don't see the warmth and love that exists there in those flawed human beings. The Dugans consist of parents Potter and Lavinia, and their five children. Potter is an alcoholic who does construction and the like off and on. He isn't of much use to anyone, least of all himself, but he has a kind heart. Lavinia is responsible and does her best to keep things together. She wears a suit to work and carries a suitcase, but none of the neighbors are sure what she does for a living. She can be selfish and mean-spirited. Eldest child Angie is overweight and sports a nose ring and spiky green hair. She is described as ruling her siblings "with a steady stream of insults". But underneath it all, she is all heart. Timothy is second oldest, followed by twins Marta and Maggie (Marta is harsh and scornful while Maggie is quiet, but full of deep longing and desire.). Sweet Foster with the crippled leg is the baby of the family at eight years. This story was totally character-driven, and what wonderful characters they were. I loved the writing. Easy to read and captivating, the author draws you into this spirited and offbeat family. I did note that the book seemed to end rather abruptly. But after rethinking it, I found it a rather suitable ending for this family. Sweetly touching, affective and provocative, I just found this story very charming. It makes me think back on those Dugans I've known in the past, and realize that this is probably a lot like what it was like inside their walls. There was a lot of love bound up within those crumbling walls-- and a lot of longing and regret, and hope.
lovelybookshelf More than 1 year ago
The short stories in Our Love Could Light the World are so interconnected, the book reads almost like a novel with changing perspectives. This family is full of character and pluck; each member a unique, complex person. Especially the mother, Lavinia. Wow. As soon as I wanted to get all judgy, I'd change my mind. There were times I despised her, loved her, pitied her, and cheered for her. And Angie, the oldest of the five siblings. I so wanted to help her along her way. Some really poor (some downright stupid) choices are made, but I loved how this family plows ahead. Just like real life, these characters have complicated, sometimes messy, relationships, and the decisions they face can rarely be seen in black and white. In a format appealing to fans of both short stories and character-driven novels, Anne Leigh Parrish invites readers into the Dugan family with writing that flows easily and grabs the heart. I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
Many of these characters seemed like people we all have known. After introducing the five children- chunky teenage Angie, who "ruled her siblings with a steady stream of insults", Timothy, close knit twins Marta and Maggie, and Foster the youngest, a happy child born with a twisted leg, this wonderfully sums up their relationship:"All in all, the five children didn't particularly care for one another, and they didn't dislike each other, either. One thing they knew was that they stood as a pack against the rest of the world."Mrs. Dugan worked and Mr. Dugan didn't due to an injury. She worked long hours and came home only to have to do most of the housework that husband Potter wouldn't do because he wanted to spend the day drinking. When she gets the opportunity to attend a three-day work conference out-of-town, she jumps at it and it becomes a turning point for the family. The title story takes place as Lavinia is off at the conference. Angie has to take charge when Potter won't; she does the laundry, and sends her siblings to the store to get detergent and other necessities. They return with an elderly confused man, but without the needed items. It is here that we see Angie's compassion and kindness, something she seems to hide behind her gruff, green-haired, nose-ring wearing exterior. This trait comes into play in later stories as well, when she bonds with a child who has Down's Syndrome (and a mean grandmother), and in her choice of career. Angie was my favorite character, I liked the arc of her growth; it felt authentic. She occupies many of the stories, and I had a real empathy for her. I loved Parrish's honest portraits of this family that you feel could have been your neighbors. Lavinia is also in many of the stories, and I felt badly that she couldn't really be happy. Even when she got what she thought she wanted, it still didn't fulfill her. A character like her could be shrill and unsympathetic, but Parrish writes her so beautifully that we care about her, even if we can't relate. The men in this novel- Potter, and his sister Patty's boyfriend Murph- don't fare as well. They are willing to live off the labors of the women they live with, and don't seem to want to contribute or better themselves. While they could have been one-note, Parrish gives you a reason to root for them as they try to grow. The Dugan family are a group of flawed people, yet we care about them even as we want to throttle them. They have ties that bind them as shown in this passage."Angie knew that Potter couldn't stand Brett. She also knew that he'd never say so. They had always been like that, she thought. Aware of each other's truths without needing to say much." That really gets to the essence of this family, and probably many other families as well. They might not say it aloud, but they know each other's truths. Maybe that is the definition of a family. I found that this book and these characters wormed their way into my heart. This collection of linked stories deserves its place right up there with Elizabeth Stout's Olive Kitteridge.