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  • By Erika Olsen
    Jul 17, 2012
    Cathy Eaton's Snags and Spills contains short stories that are often paradoxically heartbreaking yet hopeful. While characters face despair and tragedy, they tackle their circumstances, no matter how terrifying and unpredictable, with guts and courage. This collection comprises an incredible amount of diverse life experiences described masterfully by Eaton. Middle-aged characters reinvent themselves after a divorce in “Tagalong Musketeer” and “Crunch Time.” Young adults challenge the expectations of others in “A Degree in Fire Starting,” “Eyesore,” and “Lifetime Gamble.” Elderly characters cope with loss in “Breathing Room,” “Homebound,” and “Dumpster.” Anyone interested in stories with unique voice and tremendous heart will surely be delighted with Snags and Spills! Erika Olsen
  • By Craig W. Cushing
    Jul 9, 2012
    Cathy Eaton's short story collection contains tales of lives bursting at the seams, from the whimsical "Cavern Tavern" which recasts the "Snow White" fairy tale in a whole new light(fun!), to the autobiographical "Dress Rehearsal for Dying" in which the author attends to the needs of her terminally ill mother while worrying about how her elderly father will cope with his wife's death. It is a profoundly moving portrait not just of the elderly parents, but of the author's integrity as a dutiful caregiver, despite the personal pain of watching her parent dying. This story segues into "You Can't Help Yourself," about a ninety-something-year-old semi-paralyzed man who finds life to have become a painfully slow dance of attempting the most mundane daily living tasks, tasks that now take intolerably long periods of time to execute. Lest it appear that the collection of stories in Snags and Spills is devoted to aging, nothing could be further from the... More > truth. For example, "Crunch Time" portrays the "no sweat" sabbatical of an English teacher/mom who plans to finish her historical novel without the distractions of the classroom, but finds life getting in the way in manners that are hilariously believable. One of my favorite stories in the collection is "Tagalong Musketeer" which I have taught in my Modern American Short Fiction classes to enthusiastic reception by my college students--Sal's story about divorce, parenting, sibling love, the grudging acceptance of growing older, and some painfully funny winter scenes of down-slope face plants at a Vermont ski resort. This story has moments of ironic fun, with contrapuntal moments of life's complexities that are both sobering and vividly real. Perhaps the best story in the collection, though, is "Raggedy Slipper," which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012, eloquent testimony to Eaton's talent. Taken whole, Snags and Spills is diverse and intelligent: life seen by an author whose observational and recording skills are quite remarkable. I can unreservedly recommend this exceptional collection.< Less
  • By ceaton
    Jun 6, 2012
    Letter to Author from GLB When I read “Raggedy Slipper” I was amazed how much information, description and life there is in so few pages. “Dress Rehearsal for Dying” touched my heart because I knew the real life story. “You Can't Help Yourself” was a beautiful insight into the difficulties of your dad. I thought the “Cavern Tavern” was a stitch. What a twist on an old tale! “One Final Spin” broke my heart, and “Breathing Room” underscored how painful and sad it is to take someone's true life love's away, but the joy of finding them again. Each in its won story was captivating and provocative.
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Product Details

Publisher
Lulu.com
Published
May 16, 2012
Language
English
Pages
173
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.69 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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