Short Stories by Mary Kennedy Eastham
There are no perfect people here.
The characters in Squinting over Water are you and me
trying to make sense of things - good and bad - coming up with a Plan B when life gets messy.
One early reader said she would walk across continents to get to this book. These whimsical stories transformed her, made her believe once again in the true beauty and playfulness of life.
"She doesn’t sugarcoat things. This is one talented writer." —Kurt Vonnegut, Author “Cat’s Cradle”, “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “Breakfast of Champions”
"You can’t stop thinking about Eastham’s characters like 16 year old Rebecca Louise in After The Dance. Raised by her single mother, she longs to get to know John Monroe, her father, the man who wasn’t ready for parenthood when she was born but who now wants to meet her. And then there’s poor Harry in Cat’s Eyes, sipping cheap champagne, watching his mother patch together the few strands of hair on Husband Number Five’s head with those long, lean fingers of his childhood. Johanna Dane is losing the daylight in Delicato as she searches for her twin brother Mica, missing after a devastating flood in their small, sweet town of Dane’s Crossing. There are mood-tints bursting forth here, a poignant sense of time’s passage that Hollywood Indie sadcore crooner Lana Del Ray would magically rework into a dreamy song. These two creatives need to meet." —The San Francisco WE’RE NOT SKINNY BITCHES Book Club
About the Author:
Mary Kennedy Eastham, M.A., MFA has had the good fortune of growing up in a small New England town. She spread her wings and moved to New York City, San Francisco and Malibu which is where many of these stories took shape. Her first book, The Shadow of a Dog I Can’t Forget, now in its Fifth Printing, was a 2011 WILD CARD winner in the Hollywood Book Festival and a 2010 Celebrity Achiever Award winner. Mary has been awarded over $25,000 in Literary Awards.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.34(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Back when I was in college, my professor told me the time of short stories was over. I was never quite sure why. Now is the perfect time for short stories. We rush about multi-tasking with only minutes between errands or before falling asleep. Novels are becoming significantly shorter giving rise to the novella. The short story can convey an emotion or concept in a few pages. It can take you on a trip in minutes as opposed to hours. It doesn't require a great commitment the way a novel does. It is the literary quickie. It is not surprising Alice Munro won the Pulitzer because her stories resonate. The short story, the literary stepchild, is the part that shocks most people about Ms. Munro's win. With all that said, allow me to introduce you to a short story collection, <b> Squinting over Water, </b> by Mary Kennedy Eastham. Ms. Eastham examines ordinary people caught in everyday dilemmas. She uses small snippets from their lives and shines a light on it. This illumination of the mundane turns it into an insight, an epiphany. It is also reminiscent of Rosamunde Pilcher who excelled at this the use of a moment to explain everything. The stories deal with a seemingly frivolous mother who never has time for her own child, the conflict between divorce parents over a dress for their daughter, a brother and sister separated by a flood, a woman who wonders if she is pregnant and so much more. To say much more would give the stories away. The lengths are short and easy to read. The prose is beautiful and has the feel of poetry or an artist painting a scene with words instead of oils. Please take time to indulge yourself with this small gem of a book. <b> Squinting over Water</b> is more than a bundle of entertaining tales. It is the start of a conversation about the human condition and why we do the things, we do. Two thumbs up.
Author Mary Kennedy Eastham begins her book with a back-story about losing some of her writing due to a computer glitch. She could not simply forget them and move on. Then one day a woman handed her a fortune cookie saying that if she wished upon a star, she’d receive everything she wanted. The following day, her puppy was playing with a tennis ball that rolled into a closet. Much to her surprise and delight, in that closet she found those missing stories among a pile of Christmas ornaments. I tell this for one very good reason. Just like those lost stories, Eastman offers up a series of vignettes that each contain a hidden jewel – a message that may have become lost on you – a message that runs deep within, without her actually saying it – that you can use to change your own life for the better. For instance, in the chapter entitled Cat’s Eyes, a son grapples with feelings of intense loss, his mother having left his father just months after his birth. Now preparing for her fifth marriage, the son arrives with a deep-set resentment against a mother who seemed more concerned with savoring every moment of life rather than being a dotting mother. However, he soon learns how swiftly life can end, leaving only the Cats Eyes that he played with as a child, as the only reminder of what is truly important. Each story gives us a peek into someone else’s life – just for a moment in time – each including a profound message but don’t worry. This is not a collection of ‘poor me’ tales. Eastham’s quick wit eases the tension and reminds us that laughter is also vital in our lives. When you read Squinting Over Water, take your time to let each message sink into your soul. Only then will you realize the true value of Eastham’s thought provoking work. A number of her stories have won literary awards.