08 Apr Riding Pillion With George Clooney by Geraldine Ryan
A short story collection to enjoy
I’m returning to my first love with my review of this book – a collection of 12 short stories by an author who’s enjoyed great success in the magazine field, writing stories for popular publications like Women’s Weekly, Fiction Feast and My Weekly.
I used to be a fiction editor for My Weekly, with responsibility for choosing the short stories which we published each week, so I know that writing them is a real art form – I could read through dozens before finding one I enjoyed.
Happily, I enjoyed everyone of these stories! Intrigued by the title, I started at the beginning with Riding Pillion With George Clooney, in which middle-aged Bernadette takes her courage in both hands to take a trip to Italy. It’s a poignant and thoughtful examination of loneliness, unrequited dreams and hopes, and it made me both laugh and cry – all I ever ask for from a short story.
The rest of the stories, written by the author over a period of 20 years, all offer that same glimpse into the emotions that drive us forward, the day-to-day dramas that make up our lives, the humdrum and the extraordinary events that shape us into the people we are.
Themes of grief, loss and acceptance are explored in stories such as Our Solemn Promise, The Cat on the Mat and The End of the Afternoon.
Parent and child relationships come to the fore in Danny Run Home, Stirred and Shaken and After Harriet – one of the longer stories in the book, in which a young woman learns to accept that parents have feelings as well as failings.
With stories that will engage your emotions, this is an easy book to dip in and out of, and one you can go back to for a comfort read.
About the Author
Geraldine Ryan is a proud Northerner who has spent most of her life in Cambridge – the one with the punts. She holds a degree in Scandinavian Studies but these days the only use she puts it to is to identify which language is being spoken among the characters of whatever Scandi drama is currently showing on TV. She worked as a teacher of English and of English as a second or foreign language for many years, in combination with rearing her four children, all of whom are now grown up responsible citizens. Her first published story appeared in My Weekly in 1993. Since then her stories have appeared in Take-a-Break, Fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly as well as in women’s magazines abroad. She has also written 2 young adult novels- ‘Model Behaviour’ (published by Scholastic) and ‘The Lies and Loves of Finn’ (Channel 4 Books.) This anthology of previously published short stories will be, she hopes, only the first of several.