Women on the Brink

Women on the Brink

by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780996103831
Publisher: Gail E Kretchmer
Publication date: 06/01/2016
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.82(d)

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Women On The Brink 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ChristineZMason More than 1 year ago
Women on the Brink is G. Elizabeth Kretchmer’s new remarkable collection of short stories depicting women of different ages and backgrounds, from a troubled teen to an Alaskan bush pilot to an elderly woman contemplating the end of her life. All of the characters are deeply drawn and psychologically complex; they are all eventually tempted to run away and start over, and each woman must find her own solution to her individual challenges. Their stories are told in dazzling, original prose that made me want to savor Kretchmer’s craft while at the same time I was compelled to read on to find out how all of these women resolved the difficult issues in their lives.
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Absolutely Stunning! Kretchmer put together a grand collection of stories, and the focus is women. Women of all ages, shapes, sizes and strengths. Typical women! There are stories and prose, an enhancement to normal storytelling. I really enjoyed this collection. It was so easy to relate to the women and the stories, and how to find ones inner strength, even when we don't think there is any strength left. I have to admit that my favorite was "Writing Therapy" but I enjoyed all of them. I loved the "session" and when it was over, "When Raina stood, she felt chilled. Naked. Exposed and rejected. As though she’d been ripped open and also handed a heavy load of guilt and shame. A load she would now have to carry all by herself throughout the next week." I reread this story a few times before moving on.
Lovz-Books More than 1 year ago
“I know, I know. This isn’t what journaling is supposed to be about. Here I am defacing these pretty pages with all this whining. Whining. You’re supposed to process your feelings with your writing; that’s what the how-to journal books say. Whatever. My feelings say my life sucks right now.” (151) Dedicated to “anyone who ever dreamed of running away,” Women on the Brink is just what it says—it’s about women stepping out on the ledge and facing the high altitudes of the world. In these stories, we learn of the quiet strength and resilience of women. Whether it be from depression, boredom, sadness, or hormones, we just don’t find the fulfillment and, therefore, do not feel the happiness. In “Skydancer,” a woman battles with her motherly instincts and a wailing child. After all, “an animal didn’t require the commitment of a lifetime. A lifetime.” (18) “She’d known him a while by then, but only as his pilot, bringing him out to base camp and back, and that night she imagined climbing mountains, or trekking through jungles, or flying off to sunny beaches with him. She’d turned her head and looked out at the sideways snow and listened to the moaning wind, and she’d wondered why she wasn’t enjoying his touch, his sex. She’d been anxious for it to end, so that, after he left her bed, she would have her body to herself again, to hibernate for the rest of the year inside her soft, warm clothes...” (19) “She was too upset to think, right now, about where the abandonments of her past and the responsibilities of her future might lead.” (26) “Float Away” is told in the perspective of a young 13-year old girl branded with a school nickname; she “was a mutt without a history.” (48) “Something about turning in that [library] card made my eyes fill up. Or maybe it was that suggestion about there being no happy endings for girls.” (50) If only she could follow the river like Huckleberry Finn. “Like today, I’d been in bed with a bad case of what I called the alligators, those dark thoughts that swarmed about, closing in, snapping their big sharp teeth at me, much like they had been today. I had never told anyone about these feelings, or the way I thought of them metaphorically as primordial reptiles. They’d think I really was loony. But I knew I wasn’t. Just as Sylvia Plath described her own depression as an owl’s talon clenching her heart, my dark thoughts reminded me of alligators.” (73) “Girls Against Perfection” is a testament to our inner beauty and general humanity. It goes to show that raw potential and special talents are hidden beneath layers of blemished flaws (i.e. fat, dark skin, ratty clothes, etc.) Of course, I enjoyed some more than others. For example, I didn’t think reading poetry to a crazed patient was helping much. While some were rich in balanced detail, others dragged on and on. I did wonder why they were sectioned off by seasons though (I didn’t think that was too relevant.) Poetic and well-versed, these tales reveal the true endurance of woman, as deep, poignant, and lovely as can be. And, yes, written words are therapy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone who reads G. Elizabeth Kretchmer's collection of short stories, Women on the Brink, will recognize a time and place in their own life. While the protagonist of each story is a woman, this is not a book to be enjoyed only by women. These stories are universal - the fear of change, the desire for independence, the difficult relationships between and among family members. By exploring these themes through characters at different ages, in different locations, and from different social-economic backgrounds, Kretchmer enables the reader to understand more fully that all of us have the same wants and needs, no matter our own background. I found myself personally touched by some stories that felt familiar (a young mother trying to bond with her newborn while struggling against her personal need to literally fly away; an adult trying to accept and deal with her elderly mother's mental and physical decline), as well as the stories of characters whose lives I can only imagine (the housewife who finally, and cleverly, finds a way to stand up to her emotionally and physically abusive husband; the loving mother coming to grips with her teenage son's destructive, anti-social behavior). I especially enjoyed the poems Kretchmer selected to introduce each of her stories. I found myself thinking about those poems as I read the story, and frequently went back to re-read them at the end of the story to more fully understand their connection.