by Christine Cunningham
Product Description (from Amazon.com):
Christine Cunningham is spinning a few tales, five to be exact, ranging from the whimsical to the twisted. Why read one good story when you could read five?
1. Sweetest Release: Sometimes the world conspires against you when all you need is a bathroom.
2. Tic-Tac-Toe: Can a boy protect his mother and sister from the shadow in the yard?
3. Happy Birthday: Find out why you’ll never want to sing the song Happy Birthday to your child again.
4. Story Shopping: Things go awry when an author has no story to write.
5. Tarantula: Saving your best friend from your mother isn’t easy to do.
True confession: I like to read short stories in the bathroom, because you can finish them in one visit without any body parts going numb. As a kid, my favorite bathroom books were two red hardcovers (the dust-covers long since gone missing) from Reader’s Digest that were compilations of pretty much every fairy tale ever written, in the original pre-Disneyfication versions.
Christine Cunningham’s collection of short stories, Five Fables was my bathroom book for part of this month, and I enjoyed every bit of her writing. “Sweetest Release,” which is from the point of view of a dog, made me laugh loud enough to frighten my own dogs. “Tic Tac Toe” balanced cozy hominess with a taste of suspense. “Happy Birthday” was delightfully creepy. “Story Shopping” spoke to the writer part of my soul – the part that doesn’t write in cafes, but simply observes others (and sometimes uses them as improv characters), and “Tarantula” made me grin despite the title (I hate spiders).
Cunningham has a wry voice and does well with tiny plot twists and last-minute zingers. I enjoyed her work immensely. This book was one I requested as a review copy, and I was not disappointed, except in that this is only volume one.
Ms. Cunningham if you read this: MORE PLEASE
Goes well with: Quilted Northern. Or a glass of lemonade and goldfish crackers, if you’re NOT reading it in the bathroom.