Open, Shut: A Short Story by Nonnie Jules
What Amazon says
Darcy Lynn has a few problems. Her sister, Lola, killed by a drunk driver, leaves her with an eerie message right before her death; her parents are atheists; her father drinks a little too much, and her brother, Bud, is just annoying. But, her most pressing issue is that things are mysteriously opening and closing around her and she hasn’t a clue as to why…or how.
In this short “sad but uplifting story with a wonderful message,” as one reader tags it, Author, Nonnie Jules flexes her writing chops once again, by introducing her readers to a normal, every day family, whose lives are altered, not once, but twice by unexpected and unusual circumstances.
If you came into this story only believing in things seen with your own two eyes, you walk away with a new and refreshing added sense…the ability and the courage to change, based on where your heart leads you.
This is the first book I have read by Nonnie Jules and I enjoyed it a great deal. Darcy Lynn and her younger brother are the admiring younger siblings of Lola. A bright and vivid personality with an ever ready smile, Lola is the heart of their family. She is an extraordinary girl with a real sense of family and lots of time for her younger siblings.
One dark and dreary morning, the three siblings are walking to school when a terrible car accident claims Lola’s life and her family are left to deal with the fallout. Darcy’s parents are atheists so they do not have Faith to turn to during this time of trouble.
A few years later, Darcy is feeling despondent, the effects of the loss of her wonderful older sister still hang heavily over her family with her father having found solace in alcohol and her mother maintaining her sister’s old bedroom as a shrine. Darcy goes into her dead sister’s bedroom and finds and reads her diary. This action hugely impacts on her life and that of her family, allowing them to re-discover their lost Faith and move forward along life’s path in a positive way.
I liked the style of writing of this book and the inclusion of the diary entries which are read by Darcy during her time in her sister’s bedroom. The ending is rolled out cleverly with the positive outcomes highlighted in a clever and natural way.
Purchase Open, Shut: A Short Story
Jewel by Jan Sikes
What Amazon says
For almost eighteen years, Jewel has known little beyond hopelessness and hunger. Barely existing in a ramshackle cabin, on the edge of a Louisiana swamp with her little sister and their mother, she sees no way to stop the downward spiral. When her mother falls gravely ill, Jewel learns that her life is about to take a drastic turn. But will it lead to joy or more devastation?
Take a heart-warming journey with Jewel as she struggles to rise from the clutches of poverty and shame.
This is an enjoyable short story about a young girl, Jewel, whose family experiences extremely hard times following a work accident by her father. He finds solace in drinking and his family slides further and further into poverty as his ability to support them declines. Their circumstances take a turn for the worse when he suddenly disappears, never to return.
Jewel realises that her mother is very ill as she has a hacking cough and knows that something has to be done to save her younger sister, her mother and herself. She persuades her mother to go into the town and see a doctor. Her mother, however, returns with finery for her beautiful daughter, Jewel, instead of the expected medicine and the two girls soon realise that their mother, who is dying, has given them away to the best takers she can find.
Jewel goes to work for a Madam in a brothel and her younger sister is put into foster care. Interestingly, Jewel doesn’t fight against her fate, seeming to quickly accept that she has no other options for the time being.
Jewel becomes an object of interest for one of the brothel’s wealthy clients. Will she find happiness or will she become just another mistress to be cast aside when her admirer looses interest? You will have to read the book to find out.