02 May 2010

Scottish Girls About Town

By Jenny Colgan, Isla Dewar, Muriel Gray, and sixteen other Scottish women authors
Published by Downtown Press
Originally published in Great Britain and Ireland in 2003 by Pocket Books

As with the other "About Town" books (Irish Girls About Town, American Girls About Town, and Irish Girls are Back in Town), Scottish Girls About Town is a compilation of short stories by many authors, with the proceeds of each book going to various UK charities. A splendid idea, and an excellent way to introduce readers to new authors.

Personally, I bought this book because I am a huge fan of Isla Dewar and this was a way to get my hands on something else she's written. In the Garden of Mrs. Pink is a wonderful short story set in 1972 Edinburgh. Abby is ten years old and her summer days are spent with ailing Grandpa Mac, who lives with Abby and her mother. Abby's mom is a widow who works her fingers to the bone trying to keep a roof over their heads and, in Abby's view, has ignored Abby. So, off Abby goes to find neighbourhood adventures and finds herself quite often chatting with a garden gnome in the garden of Mrs. Pink. Beautifully written, Dewar leads us through Abby's eye-opening summer where she meets Mrs. Pink and begins to understand her mother's life.

Other stories of note: FriendsRevisited.Com by Carmen Reid, Crossroads by Manda Scott, A True Romance by Shari Low, A Mixed Blessing by Aline Templeton, and Private Habits of Highly Effective Women by Abigail Bosanko. The other stories ranged from so-so to so poorly written that I didn't even finish reading them.

As mentioned, this book is a great way to check out authors you have never read, and I did find a few whose novels I'll be purchasing. All in all, this is a good book for those who like short stories.


Robin said...

I'll be borrowing this from you :)


Nancy Barnes said...

I'll sign it out for July!