4 out of 4 stars
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Are there times where you just need a feel-good read without the drama that most novels contain? If so, I highly recommend in giving Elephants in the Room by Charlene Wexler a try. Categorized in the Other Fiction genre, Wexler has created a collection of essays and short fiction stories that will make you chuckle, smile, and even melt your heart.
This collection of essays are split up into five sections: “Coming of Age”, “Family and Friends”, “Animal Magnetism”, “The Passing Parade”, and “Senior Moments”. Each section is balanced with sweet, loving essays as well as stories that are filled with sadness and reflection. As the reader progresses through the book, the character voice within each part ages overtime. With aging, different perspectives and maturity level come to surface.
Personally, I loved “Family and Friends” and “Animal Magnetism” sections because I feel they relate more to me, at the current time, than the others. Whether the author writes about The Temperature Game, where a husband and a wife can never seem to agree whether the temperature is too hot or too cold, or speaks about Loss and Grief, where a young child is taken too soon from this world due to leukemia, Wexler knows how to deliver her messages and has done so beautifully.
The specific story in which the book is named after, Elephants in the Room, speaks of exactly what the title alludes to, “elephants in the room”. This idiom refers to those obvious truths that no one seems to address in a gathering. For instance, when the storyteller's hands shake, at first no one says anything, making this an “elephant”. However, when eventually it is pointed out and is referred to as potential Parkinson's, then the elephant is “out of the room”. To be honest, the title and cover is what grabbed my attention, and seems to fit so perfectly throughout Wexler's works.
Major themes of love, friendship, family, coming of age, death, everlasting love, growing up, lost love, optimism, role of women, and will to survive are all cleverly included here.
At first, I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading the “Coming of Age” stories, but I soon came to realize that this collection is probably one of my favorites, thus far. With very little grammatical errors, less than a handful, I simply could not put this book down.
With the author's inviting writing style and her way to connect with her audience, with a doubt, Elephants in the Room deserves a 4 out of 4 stars rating. As mentioned previously, if you are a reader that needs a sweet heartwarming read, then give this one a try. I assure you, there will be something you will enjoy!
Elephants in the Room
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