Book Review: Four American Tales by Jack Messenger

Today I present to you my review of Four American Tales by author Jack Messenger. These are four standalone short pieces with tone connections that are expertly written. Below, read the official synopsis from the author and then click the book cover in order to read my review. Happy reading!

 

Secrets. Money. Love. Death. Sometimes they’re hard to tell apart.

Four American Tales describes a world of hopes and fears on the far side of the American Dream, in a quartet of evocative stories about love and loss, struggle and ambition from the 1950s to the present day.

‘Wichega’ is an atmospheric tale of childhood’s dreams and nightmares: when Sweet Pea and her family move far away, is it really because her father has quit the Navy, or is there something else going on – something to do with his new Oldsmobile and the monster that lives in the pond out by the highway?

‘A Hundred Ways to Live’ follows Nadine and Earle outside the Law as they travel across the desert in search of the stolen money they hope will give them a new life.

‘Ballbusters on Parade’ is an unconventional parable of work in the sex industry: Mike is persuaded by his girlfriend Yolanda to apply for a screen test. Success, however, leads him in unexpected directions.

‘Uncle Mort’ tells how a bequest gives rise to unforeseen problems. Helen and Thomas are successful and happy New Yorkers. News of her uncle’s death opens up the past and suddenly everything becomes uncertain – marriage, identity and what to do with a tumbledown house that no one wants.

All four stories feature great female characters, powerful writing and intriguing storylines – stories in which things happen and people change. And there’s a link to a bonus story!

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