Lorraine Douglas is the youth services co-ordinator at the Winnipeg
In this exceptional collection of 10 short stories for young adults,
Winnipeg-based writer Linda Holeman provides a sensitive treatment of
the themes of change and loss.
“Something Fishy” begins with the narrator telling the story of the
fisherman’s wife who gets her wish only to discover it wasn’t what
she really wanted. The story shifts its focus to Rachel Olchowecki, who
in a bid for attention claims she is related to the popular Jessica Jann
on MTV. The lie takes on a life of its own as Rachel rises in the social
ranks at school; in the end, however, she must deal with the loss of her
new “friends.” In “Sweet Bird of Youth,” Blake is worried about
leaving his cousin Toot with a man named Jake. (Jake once tried to
molest Blake.) Jake lives with Bev, Toot’s mother, who has to go into
hospital. On the spur of the moment, Blake invites Toot to stay with his
family. The final story, “Saying Goodbye,” contains poignant
insights into the feelings of loss that follow the death of a parent.
Young adults who enjoyed Martha Brooks’s Traveling On into the Light
will appreciate Holeman’s humor, compassion, and sure hand with
character and dialogue. Highly recommended.