Flying Horses, Secret Souls

Randeane Tetu, Author
Randeane Tetu, Author Papier-Mache Press $10.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-57601-020-4
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""I was only there because my mother made me. She was in the kitchen having coffee and telling my Aunt Dot that I don't have any friends, which is a lie. I sure do have friends. They're just not the ones she sees, and when they drink sugar water from their tea party cups, my mother thinks it's me."" Like the imaginary friends who keep one of Tetu's (Merle's and Marilyn's Mink Ranch) many young girl narrators company, the characters in these 18 short stories drift in and out of their meticulously rendered, everyday settings without quite coming visibly to life. Part of the problem lies with Tetu's unvarying voice (she suffers from monosyllabic ""simplicity"" that destroys narrative tension); and part of the problem is her reliance on melodramatic events: a best friend drowns in a childhood swimming accident; a lonely old woman gives a pair of candlesticks to a thief so that he can give them to his grandmother; a plain girl goes to the prom. Tetu displays too little patience for the true, mundane details of childhood loneliness; perhaps in her next collection she will invite flesh-and-blood characters to fill out her party of one. (Sept.)
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