A tragic accident leads to a disastrous love affair. A midlife crisis leads a man to trespass in a private pool. A marriage is torn apart when the husband becomes manic depressive. This collection of stories follows men and women in different walks of life while they cope with the events, good and bad, that shape them. In many ways, these stories look at how people bridge the differences between them, whether their differences are of race, culture, age or sensibility. These are stories of people in transition and an account of how they face everything from unlucky twists of fate to their own personal demons.
In these eight stories, the reader encounters a variety of characters: an auto body painter turned manic depressive, an unhappy art gallery owner who trespasses into a private pool in order to recapture his joie de vivre, a bitter, aged mother whose daughter suddenly redefines her sense of duty, an arrogant Czech engineer who is brought to her knees by an unexpected love affair. From the desperate to the dashing, all are clouted by life’s vagaries. Whether the sorrows range from the tragic—a senseless death—to the absurd—choking down a plate-sized, clandestinely imported mushroom at a dinner party—no one escapes unscathed. As their tales unfold, some characters stumble into false moves, while others find a way to triumph over their circumstances.
Valerie Stetson’s fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous literary journals and three anthologies. In 2001, she received The Bronwen Wallace Award for her story: “The Year I Got Impatient”. Her articles have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and The Times Colonist. The Year I Got Impatient is her first book.