#Bookreview – Strange Hwy: Short Stories by Beem Weeks

What Amazon says

If you ever find yourself on the Strange Hwy—don’t turn around. Don’t panic. Just. Keep. Going. You never know what you’ll find.
You’ll see magic at the fingertips of an autistic young man,
•A teen girl’s afternoon, lifetime of loss.
•A winged man, an angel? Demon—?
•Mother’s recognition, peace to daughter.
•Danny’s death, stifled secrets.
•Black man’s music, guitar transforms boy.
•Dead brother, open confession.
•First love, supernatural?—family becomes whole!
You can exit the Strange Hwy, and come back any time you want.
See, now you know the way in, don’t be a stranger.

My review

Strange Hwy: Short Stories is, as its title suggests, is a collection of intriguing short stories written about those defining moments in the lives of humans when occurrences and situations have unexpected and momentous impacts on individuals and their families. The author has written with deep insight into such occurrences and his accurateness in defining the possible fallout is quite frightening. The reader is pulled right under the skin of each specific character and experiences their fear, pain and suffering.

My three favourite stories were as follows:
Alterations: This is a story about a young teenage girl, Madeline, who declares, right up front in the story, that she was indirectly responsible for the death of her father. Madeline comes from a middle class American family and her father works at the near by ship yard, overseeing the building of the ships to the specifications set by the US government. Her mother is conservative and also quite naive and these qualities, together with Madeline’s natural curiosity and sense of adventure, create a terrible situation for the family. A Russian family move in next door and appear to be a father and his daughter. The father plays beautiful music on the piano and Madeline’s mother is keen for her to befriend the daughter in the hope that her father will undertake teaching Madeline. Madeline does befriend the daughter, a woman of the world, with disastrous consequences.

Wordless: I particularly liked this story because of its overarching quality of hopefulness. Jamie Lynn is a bright young girl who is a high achiever at school and in life generally. As a result, she is bullied at school by other girls who feel threatened by her success, but this doesn’t get her down. Jamie Lynn has decided on what she wants from life and worked out the path to achieve her ambitions. She also wants to help her father who is illiterate. Jamie Lynn undertakes to teach her father how to read and sets about this task with great fortitude and determination.

Looking for Lucy: This was my favourite story in the collection. I really enjoyed its paranormal element and the fact that it is also, ultimately, a story of overcoming problems in life and achieving happiness and success. Vrable is the son of a wealthy land-owning farmer who is a bit dull and set in his ways. His mother, a bit of a fun loving woman, strays and has an affair which leads to her moving out of the family home and moving to the city. Vrable goes with her and only sees his father periodically. Vrable is lonely and ends up befriending the granddaughter, Lucy, of their elderly neighbour. Lucy’s parents are both gone, we never found out how or where, and she is being brought up by her grandmother who is sick at the time Vrable meets her. Vrable’s friendship with Lucy gives him a new perspective on life and results in a change in the state of affairs that has befallen his family.

Purchase Strange Hwy: Short Stories

69 thoughts on “#Bookreview – Strange Hwy: Short Stories by Beem Weeks

    1. You will have to read it but it was set in a time of deep suspicion between the US and Russia. I very good collection of short stories. When I am very stressed and busy, I like reading short stories as they aren’t to much of a mental commitment.

      Liked by 1 person

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