Friday, 27 June 2014

Welcome to Sharonville by Sharon Zink

Review By The Mole

Toni is driving back from New York and nearly home when her Redsmobile is involved in a massive accident. She is found in the wreck by her best friend, Buzz - a fireman. Buzz follows her to the hospital to find she is alive but in a coma. He lets Mila, her roommate, know who decides Uncle Franco, the man who raised her from a baby, must not be informed. Buzz cannot accept this and does tell him and so, one by one, everyone who has had their lives touched by Toni gets introduced and we learn what Toni meant to them.

Are there happy endings for everyone? Unlikely, and anyway - what is a happy ending?

In many ways this felt like a series of short stories as we learn each back story and then return to Toni before moving on, although the story of Franco and Betta is one we keep returning to and have our own hopes and dreams about. Each character touches the lives of one or more of the others and it gets to feeling like a closed club almost. Some questions remain unanswered - like What is the outcome of Franco's court case? And what does happen to Steve? And do things work out for Buzz?

This was immensely enjoyable but also, strangely, I could easily put it to one side for a while after finishing a character's story - making it a great read for coffee time or commuting. There are happy endings, and sadnesses and many incompletenesses that give the reader chance to finish the stories themselves - this, again, is one of the features of short stories - in fact one of the attractions of them. A novel for lovers of short stories or a novel to get readers hooked on short stories? You decide.

Publisher - Unthank Books
Genre - Adult literary fiction

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