REVIEW: All Is Bright by Sarah Pekkanen
Dear Ms. Pekkanen:
According to the Amazon bio, you are an acclaimed fiction writer which would be why your name is unknown to me. I rarely read outside the romance genre. Your publicist sent this to me and as I do with all books sent to me, I opened and read the first page. The story isn’t very long. Only 25 pages and a little over 5,000 words so by the time I was finished with the first page, I figured I had nothing to lose by continuing on. I know that this might sound cold and a little blase, but this is how I ended up reading the entire short story.
Elise Andrews never could bring herself to marry her high school sweetheart, Griffin, despite dating him on and offer for over a dozen years. The last time he proposed the idea of marriage and Elise decided she wasn’t ready, Griffin moved on. Elise didn’t realize how serious it was until she ran into Griffin’s mother Janice during a holiday break. Griffin had gone to spend the holidays with his new girlfriend’s family, Janice reported.
Elise isn’t struck with longing for Griffin, exactly, but longing for everything that Griffin represented and, of course, Janice. As a motherless child, Janice filled a space in Elise’s hungry heart and that, more than anything kept Elise’s feelings for Griffin alive.
This story, despite it not being a romance and not having a romantic arc worked for me because it was a short story, it had authentic characters, and a hopeful ending. It was a satisfying read and did make me interested in reading a longer work by you. It’s hard to grade a work that is short but at the $.99 price point, it is a definite recommend for me. At a higher price point, I think I might hesitate because of its length. One reviewer on Amazon said she hoped that this was a precursor or teaser for a more fully developed book and I wouldn’t be adverse to a romance between Elise and the grandson who sends Beyonce dance videos to his grandmother. It’s somewhere between a B and B- only because it really is so short.