The Loose Lip Brigade
by Julia Newman
Don’t be fooled by the chic-lit-sounding name; this book of short stories is the opposite of a fluff read, in a good way. The 7 stories included all revolve around characters struggling with and drowning in self-doubt, anxiety, helplessness and fear of intimacy. This is not the book to read if you want to come away happy and smiling. But the writing is good, and even quite beautiful and insightful in places. The way the different emotions experienced by the characters are described is poignant and relatable, even if you’ve never sunk to quite the level some of these characters are at. We’ve all had at least moments like that, and so you feel for the characters. There are a few issues with the book, though. Most distracting for me were the off-formatting and typos – this is a self-published manuscript that could’ve benefited from an editor and someone versed in book & page layout. And while I liked all of the stories, many of them seemed unfinished – good beginnings, but no movement towards a resolution. My favorite story from the bunch was This Still House, one of the few with a hint of progress towards a resolution. It was also one of the few told from a 1st person POV, which I always favor. Overall, an interesting read with some emotional punch, as long as you can ignore the rough edges.
I give it 3/5 stars.
A copy of this book was provided for me to review, but all options and ratings are my own.