Monday, September 20, 2010

Destinations by Sheila O’Flanagan

While on the bus, train, or even on the road, have you ever wondered who’s the pretty lady in front of you, smiling so happily as she chats away on her mobile? What about that old man with a kid that looks like his grandchild? Or that lady that dresses so well but has such a sad look in her eyes. What are their lives like? What makes them happy? What makes them sad? What are their stories?

‘From the moment the Dart system became part of Dublin I dreamed about writing a collection of short stories centred around it. I think this is because I am basically a nosy person and love looking at the backs of people’s houses and wondering what kind of lives they’re living. And whenever passengers get on the train I’m always intrigued as to where they’re going to or coming from and what’s going on in their lives.says Sheila O’Flanagan.

Destinations consist of a collection of 19 such short stories. I like how Sheila started our journey with a story entitled Saturday at 12. It's about a dad taken the train to pick up his little girl for lunch on a Saturday.  To me it was rather a sad story but it’s a good start and sets the tone for the book. Like any journey, just when you least expected it, something has to happen to make it interesting.  Halfway into the book, Sheila suddenly linked Saturday at 12 with one entitled The Martini Girl where you get to know 'the other side of the story' and probably knowing that at this point, you won’t settle for just two stories, she ends them with Connections which is more from a mum's perspective. What a good end to the journey.

Classified at chick lit, the stories are short enough to be read in between stops but still satisfying enough for you to enjoy. Loved it!

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