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War Stories: Short Fiction by Elisabeth Doyle

Sunday, September 2, 2012
"War Stories" is a lean, concise collection of short fiction, with many of the stories having a sub-theme of war and its impact upon the lives of ordinary people. In "Recruiters," the military prowls for young boys in a destitute and hopeless urban area. In "One of These Days it will All be Over," a Vietnam war veteran finds a moment of redemption in a single heroic act. In "Pistolesi," the wife of a brain-injured Iraq war veteran searches for identity and purpose in the aftermath of her husband's injury. In "The Deepest, Darkest Part of the Woods," an isolated young soldier returns from war to a violent and dysfunctional neighborhood, and discovers a sense of connection with a quiet adolescent girl.


These short stories tell of loneliness, loss, yearning, heartache, resiliency, death, hopelessness, and more.  War Stories contains nine separate tales which relate the actions and thoughts of a few characters as they experience emotional or physical battles.  Doyle’s writing lays bare the circumstances of each situation – conveying so much in a few phrases: “this child was the hope that was born between them, held up like a torch against the darkness of the past” and “because he’d let go of his soul, …you have to fight hard to hold onto it, no matter what”.

People I know joke about how the sordid drama of reality TV or court TV makes them feel better about themselves:  they’re not drug addicts, not testing 5 men to find their baby’s father, not on disability suing a cheating boyfriend for a loan.  Why aren’t we more sympathetic to their problems?  Reading Doyle’s similar to real life stories of addiction, death, emptiness, and despair evokes different feelings.  Doyle’s great writing connects readers to the characters.  You feel the poignant hollowness of their losses and struggles.  It’s depressing but very moving reading.

Four and a Half Stars 

*Reviewed by Colleen*

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. erin said...:

    thanks for a great review!

  1. Ruth said...:

    This sounds interesting! Awesome review!

  1. Colleen, thanks for the great review!

    Krystal, we appreciate your help in getting the word out about Elisabeth's book.