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Short Story Review: All is Bright

June 1, 2012

I’ve had “All is Bright“, by Sarah Pekkanen for a while but figured it was a Christmas story and set it aside.  When I saw that Sandy read, and loved, it in March I decided to read it and, boy, am I glad I did!  It’s official now, I’ve loved everything Pekkanen has published and should probably start a fan club for her.

Shortly after her break-up with Griffin, Elise is back in town for the holidays to visit her grandmother when she runs into Grif’s mother, Janice, in the grocery store.  Elise’s mother passed away when she was six and Janice has been like a surrogate mother to her.  Seeing Janice makes Elise realize she misses her more than she ever missed Grif, so she gladly accepts an invitation to dinner.  Something upsetting happens at the dinner and Elise leaves early, feeling rather aimless.

She spends the next day at the assisted living facility with Nana and her friends and, let me tell you, they are a hoot!  I want to be just like them when I grow up.  (I also want a whole book about them!)  Elise leaves the women feeling refreshed but it’s not until she gets home and finds something at her front door that she realizes how important love is.

That’s quite a description for a short story, isn’t it?  “All is Bright” might be short in words, but it’s long in emotion.  Once again, Sarah Pekkanen grabbed at my heart and wouldn’t let go – I teared up and laughed as I read this delightful story.  It reminded me of the importance of love and acceptance.  It also made me think of my father – he was a lot like Janice.  My old boyfriends would stop by our house to visit my father and he was always happy to see them.  Even though the story is set around Christmas, I wouldn’t call it a Christmas story – this is a great read for any day of the year.

This is the second wonderful short story I’ve read by Pekkanen and I keep hoping for a collection from her.  “All is Bright” is available for most e-Readers for 99¢ and is just perfect when you need something quick to read.

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. Catherine permalink
    June 1, 2012 6:46 am

    I would also recommend her other works, Skipping a Beat and Opposite of Me. Both are well written and full of emotion.

  2. sandynawrot permalink
    June 1, 2012 7:22 am

    Everything that Pekkanen writes is magical, and this one is no exception. My only complaint is that I was just settling in and falling in love with the characters when it ended! I loved Nana and her crazy friends. Ms. Pekkanen, please provide more of Nana’s friends please.

    • Catherine permalink
      June 1, 2012 7:28 am

      I said the same thing! It should be expanded into a novel, for sure!

  3. June 1, 2012 8:47 am

    Glad to hear this one is good. Sounds like one I should try over the holidays. I applaud you for reading it when your heart desired.

  4. June 1, 2012 9:31 am

    I haven’t read anything by Pekkanen, but I do plan to change that. I’m glad you enjoyed this one so much, I’ll have to add it to my reader.

  5. June 1, 2012 9:46 am

    Thank you so much for this suggestion, now to figure out how to put it on my e reader… I’m quite hopeless you know.

  6. June 1, 2012 11:43 am

    Ooh, Pekkanen is a new-to-me author — will have to look for her given your enthusiasm!

  7. June 1, 2012 12:07 pm

    I have heard lots of good about Pekkanen, but have not read her yet. Will have to change that. Thanks for your review.

  8. June 1, 2012 12:32 pm

    I read These Girls because of your review and loved it! So, I’ll definitely be checking this one out, too! Thanks for introducing me to Pekkanen’s works :)

  9. June 1, 2012 1:14 pm

    This does sound like a well-written and touching story, Kathy. Great review of this short story! I’d love to read it. :)

  10. June 1, 2012 2:28 pm

    I didn’t realize she also has short stories!

  11. June 1, 2012 2:34 pm

    This sounds fantastic. I haven’t read this author before – I need to check it out!

  12. bookingmama permalink
    June 1, 2012 3:29 pm

    I must be going crazy because I thought you had read this one awhile ago.

  13. June 1, 2012 4:22 pm

    I’m all about these kinds of stories. I haven’t seen this one…maybe I should get this one.

  14. Beth Hoffman permalink
    June 1, 2012 6:54 pm

    I have this on my list and was saving it for this winter. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  15. June 2, 2012 7:11 am

    And one day I will try a book by her

  16. June 2, 2012 8:59 am

    I loved These Girls from Pekkanen so I will get this one too. I work with seniors and they can be a hoot! Thanks for this review.

  17. June 2, 2012 12:37 pm

    I don’t think I’ve read any of her work but I will now. It sounds like she has some great books that I need to catch up on!

  18. June 2, 2012 9:23 pm

    It does sound like a lot going on but it sounds just lovely. Maybe she will write a book with the characters you loved.

  19. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    June 3, 2012 6:15 pm

    I just may have to buy this. I did like her book that I just read and am more than willing to try her backlist!!

  20. June 3, 2012 9:12 pm

    Iim not crazy about shorter stories, but this one does look fun.

  21. boardinginmyforties permalink
    June 25, 2012 5:06 pm

    Sounds like a heck of a deal for 99 cents!

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