In linked short stories, author Linda Lensink invites readers into the dreams, disappointments, fears, sicknesses, marriages, and conflicted familial relationships of her compelling characters. Lensink masterfully draws her audience into her stories with captivating opening lines; for example, “Desperate Measures” begins, “There was a naked body at the corner of Eastchester and Queenston Street. Eva was doing her best to cover it up.” And the opening line to “Dude,” “Before that memorable Monday, Simon would never have thought of a cup of coffee as an offensive weapon.” In each story, not everything is as it seems, and a surprise awaits.
Lensink’s stories capture the human emotions unleashed by the uncertainties, vagaries, betrayals, and traumas of life. What is it like to be in your 50s and no longer feel noticed? What does a person endure when she receives a cancer diagnosis and then tries not to be defined by it? How does one navigate the world when one sees danger in every driver on the highway? How does the tightening and tensing, the laboring and delivering of childbirth give birth to “a new, fierce, bigger kind of love” that makes room for the neglected and unloved?
Laugh-out-loud scenarios, gut-wrenching life-and-death situations, and poignant epiphanies reveal Lensink’s ordinary characters to be extraordinary, as all humans are. Reading about Eva, Simon, Dianna, Carmella, Astrid, Jay, Mark, Netta, and more might make readers wonder, “What is happening in the lives of the people I meet each day?” And readers might be reminded of the saying, “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” (FriesenPress)