Micaela Morris in Jo’s Heaven
Review by Molly
John Howard Reid’s Micaela Morris in Jo’s Heaven is an anthology of some fifteen short stories most of which have been published and many of which have won awards and prizes when entered in various writing contests.
The reader first meets Micaela Morris as she travels a narrow roadway to Jo’s Heaven. In the words of Micaela’s mum the track is 117 miles of scrub. Micaela was not deterred, she dreamed of Jo’s Heaven at night, and she imagined all kinds of fantastic possibilities for what she might find should she actually set out along that roadway. Micaela thought it was a trip worth the drive.
Wright and Wrong leads the reader to Raymond Wright, poet and the mystery which slowly resolves until the reader comes to a surprising ending.
Once again Micaela is the central figure in Plain Glory, while Kawbury, Kentucky is the focall setting in another or more of the offerings. Micaela continues to appear in one then another of the offerings interspersed with other intriguing tales.
Sink or Swim brings the reader to Kings Crescent and one Conrad Joyce, Con to most, and his plans for the future, one that he hopes will be prosperous and filled with some ease. One scheme after another seems perfect only to end in hopelessness. On the other hand, if you keep trying then sooner or later something does come through, doesn’t it?
From Fan-Fan, a wee rabbit, to Kinkhead’s Dilemma and what do with a local ne’er do well to a new stove as the reader peruses Changing Times writer Reid’s broad spectrum writing talent is apparent.
Simon the Seer, Position Chorus Position, Party First and Lacey are more of the varied, appealing and captivating titles for works sure to rouse the curiosity, interest, and intrigue the reader.
John Howard Reid’s Micaela Morris in Jo’s Heaven is a perfect book to tuck into purse or brief case for those moments when a heavy tome may be too much. The wait at the dentist’s office, or while sitting at the railroad crossing waiting for the train to pass, or stopped as the 4th grader runs back to the classroom for something forgotten are perfect times for taking out Micaela Morris in Jo’s Heaven. Each tale is told in a few pages, stories are quick paced, filled with language tone, gradation and nuance as only John Howard Reid can create.
I like this Australian writer’s style, settings are nicely portrayed to draw the reader into the action. Characters are fleshed with enough detail to allow the reader opportunity to like, dislike, ponder or simply enjoy. Each storyline is set down with skill.
All in all, John Howard Reid’s Micaela Morris in Jo’s Heaven is an out of the ordinary, and, most enjoyable read.
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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