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“. . . grief has no expiration date,” writes author Jan Rider Newman in the title story of her newly released collection of five short stories entitled A Long Night’s Sing. A life-long resident of Louisiana, Ms. Newman sets her stories in her home state, from the piney woods of northern Louisiana to the marsh grass of the Gulf Coast region. In these beautifully written tales, her characters have all lost something and must deal with the reality of that loss, be it the loss of a loved one or friend, the loss of love and affection, or the disappointment of lost dreams.
In Goose Chase, Val and his wife Emmy are sharecroppers near Bayou Nezpique in 1960. They were never blessed with children and Emmy dreams of a better life for the two of them.
Morphine introduces us to Angie, a victim of an abusive marriage, Joan, whose dear friend has died, and Blue, whose wife has left him. Sometimes people bury their grief in the arms of another.
Bread Alone is a flash fiction piece depicting the death of a marriage.
In The Children of Israel, an elderly man awakens one morning to find his wife has died during the night. He sprinkles her rigid body with herbs, wraps her in a sheet, and buries her in the family plot in the woods behind their home.
A Long Night’s Sing examines a woman whose husband died five years earlier. Corrie continues to struggle with grief. She wants to move on, but will her young adult daughters help or hinder her efforts?
Newman understands human nature and excels at bringing raw biting emotion to the surface of a narrative. It is these emotions that move each story along and keep the reader riveted to the pages. Though they are short stories, her characters are well-developed and real as life. The settings make the reader feel like she is standing in the midst of the story, grieving right along with the characters. Recommended for readers who enjoy literary short stories set in Louisiana. Find A Long Night’s Sing on Amazon.