When the author contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in reading her collection of short stories about Glasgow women, I joked that she was brave asking an Edinburgh girl to review a book about Glasgow! You may know that there is a friendly rivalry between the two cities, sometimes not so friendly. She replied saying that sometimes it’s fun to look at the dark side of the moon!
People Make Glasgow works its way through the year with the first few stories set around Christmas time making now an ideal time to give the book a try. It contains twelve very different stories about different Glasgow women, although one story was from a man’s point of view. Some, including the first two, were rather on the steamy side. I did wonder at first if this was a collection of erotic short stories. Not that I’m averse to a bit of erotic fiction but I wouldn’t tend to review it. However, the stories covered a wide range of subjects including an unexpected pregnancy, suicide, grief, a family escaping domestic violence, transgender romance and even a fairy!
Diplomacy with Fairies was a particular favourite and very cleverly done. It featured various people/countries taking part in an online game called Diplomacy Online. It was written as if each country was a person playing the game and chatting about the various moves and results. I’m not too up on the details of WW1 history but suspect it reflected what was going on in 1917. Perhaps surprisingly, this is the story which features a fairy.
The stories were written with insight, are often moving and sometimes funny. I felt it was a nice touch that after the stories with a more serious message, the author includes some information and statistics as well as words of encouragement and details of where people can go for help and support if they are affected by the issues.
The strength yet ordinariness of the women comes through in all the stories. There will be something in the characters that I expect many women will be able to identify with. Most of the stories were fully formed and complete, whereas some were more of a snapshot into the women’s lives. It’s a good sign that I would like to read more about each women, that I feel I’d like to know more about them perhaps learn their full story in a novel. Lauren Lloyd shows in this collection that she is equally at home writing in a variety of styles.
People Make Glasgow is available now as an ebook and at the time of writing was only 99p for the Kindle edition (please do check before buying though). You can order your copy here: People Make Glasgow
From the back of the book
Can a short story take you on an emotional journey? Have you laugh, cry, grip the edge of your seat and leave you desperate for more?
Of course it can!
Jess, a whole-nut-chocolate-loving adventurer likes to experience the richness of life via Tinder. Kaz embraces an unexpected opportunity with her mortgage advisor. Single mother Sal risks it all for a sugar daddy in Sicily. Will it all work out?
Mara is a Scottish fairy with a penchant for online gaming and transporting herself to other people’s couches.
Jamie is a violin virtuoso, accountant and once did 9000 crunches in 8 days. She is also a transgender woman.
Longlegs wants to date, but he can’t get over the woman who holds his heart.
Like peering through a series of tenement windows, People Make Glasgow comprises 12 bite-sized stories of contemporary Glasgow life. 12 ideas, 12 powerful women, 12 novels in the making, 12 stories to be told.