Chronologically from past to present, this author presents a novella and collection of short stories circulating in Cleveland. All of the stories are character-driven with Cleveland as the base. If you are looking for happy endings – this is not it, but instead, through serious and intense characters, your heart is tugged through emotions.
At times I needed to set the book aside until I felt strong enough to pick it back up again. And I did want to pick it back up as the book is compelling. The stories ranged from children dealing with survival to adults going past a point where survival was not working.
A solid read.
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Set in Cleveland, Ohio, from its earliest beginnings as a forested frontier to the urban blight of modern times, Mistakes by the Lake is a collection of ten thematically linked stories spanning the many faces of the city’s history: A motorman navigates his 1920’s back-and-forth trolley until he snaps; A stockyards knocker encounters the Virgin Mary during the 1954 World Series; A wannabe wrestles his unruly mind along the flammable 1960’s Cuyahoga River; In a reinvention of Henry IV, a young man must either stick with his bumbling criminal crew or uncover legit ways to support his mother and transgender Gramps.
The collection and its stories have garnered numerous accolades: Finalist: Nilsen Prize (Southeast Missouri State University); Winner: The Lake Prize in Fiction (Midwestern Gothic); Shortlisted: The Novella Award (Liverpool John Moores University); Shortlisted: Munster Literature Centre’s Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition; Honorable Mention: Family Matters Contest (Glimmer Train). Praise for the novella, Mistakes by the Lake: “Full of action, movement, tension and shocks. T he world of the Cleveland stockyards and its denizens is brought to life with verve, skill and command” (Vulpes Libris).