Book Review: Life in River Hollow: A Short Story Collection by Teresa Grabs

Life in River Hollow: A Short Story Collection by [Grabs, Teresa]

Title: Life in River Hollow: Short Story Collection

Author: Teresa Grabs

Publisher: Self-published

Publication date: July 23, 2018

Genre: Fiction

Summary: Life in River Hollow is a collection of short stories that follows several inhabitants as they go about their day. Several of the stories take place during the same day and involve meeting or seeing a new inhabitant. But several other stories are simply snapshots of life, including a wonderful classroom scene that has me envying the students. River Hollow is an off the map type of place and is full of magic and interesting creatures. There seems to be a rich history behind the place, but, as this is just a collection of stories, the history is never fully fleshed out, but the reader can pick out glimmers of an interesting past.

For a few months now, I’ve followed Teresa Grabs’s blog where she is also known as The Haunted Wordsmith. I’ve enjoyed her stories, so of course I had to buy her book!

This was a delightful collection, but altogether too short. I read through it way too fast and just wanted the stories to keep going. I appreciate that this is a small collection of short stories, but really hope Grabs turns this into a full story of interconnected characters. There are so many people I want to know more about. I want to be immersed in this town for much longer than this short collection offers.

The stories delighted me and many of them gave me a good smile. Grabs wrote with a light humor and brought her characters to life even though some were seen for just a few moments. I was delighted by the library story time, intrigued by the florist’s plants, and dying to get to know Mayor Strange even better. I’d love to know more about their new inhabitant, and how they manage to sort out identical, yet very different, candles!

My one complaint is the writing can be a little rough at times. One of my pet peeves is changing tenses. This happened frequently and took a few stories for me to become accustomed to, even though I still didn’t like it. Jarring at first, it, of course, decreased my enjoyment a bit, but the lively characters made it all worthwhile. Overall, I think a good bit of editing and perhaps fleshing out the stories a little more would make this collection stellar. And I sincerely hope we get to read more about River Hollow. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy The Haunted Wordsmith and hope you’ll at least drop in and check out this author’s wonderful short stories.

How many cups of tea will you need?

4 cups should do the trick.

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