The Secrets of a Fire King: Stories
by Kim Edwards
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Format: Hard Cover
Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
From Publishers Weekly Edwards's debut collection features 11 beguiling, exquisitely crafted tales of transformation and the challenges of love. Bernadette Dunne provides deep emotional nuance to her reading, conveying precisely the awe of a first-time skydiver, the quiet desperation of an Asian mail-order bride or the surprise and jealousy of an old-guard colonialist wife meeting a modern-minded newcomer. Still, where on the page Edwards's writing springs to life and exerts a peculiar magic over the reader, here it's somewhat diminished, less captivating and singular. The stories have impressively diverse and realistically described settings, some reaching back in time by a century, others taking place on the other side of the world, but apart from the occasional use of a light French or British accent, Dunne's presentation does not vary with the stories, so after a while they begin to blend together. Listeners will appreciate Dunne's skillful handling of Edwards's poetic prose, but the production lacks any real sparks that would illuminate and complement the author's achievement of imagination in conjuring such different worlds so convincingly. A Penguin paperback (Reviews, Feb. 25, 1997). Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition. From Library Journal Many of the award-winning stories in this first collection feature strong, pragmatic women as protagonists, usually motivated by love in its broadest sense: A 19-year-old finds hidden strength after skydiving with an unstable boyfriend; a lonely, uprooted Asian woman makes a life in America; the cleaning woman of a famous scientist idolizes her employer despite suffering physically because of his experiments; a wife connects best with her husband during the time of their greatest challenge. Edwards utilizes her perceptual ability and keen eye for detail to delineate believable characters, many of whom are facing unique challenges. Their haunting situations are effectively complemented by unusual settings in Asia, America and Europe. Recommended for all literary collections. ? Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, Md. Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.