by Doris Betts

LSU Press, 1965

Fiction

Here is a collection of short stories that vary, as the saying goes, from the “ridiculous to the sublime” and will keep the reader well entertained. The author takes her reader from youth fantasies to aged fantasies, takes the mundane and turns it into fascinating possibilities, and ignorance, backwoods humor, imagination, and the “logic” of young girls’ actions add to reading experiences seldom found in a collection from just one author.

Each short story, having its own fascinating experience, urges the reader to read to the end, and then ask for more, sad to see the pages dwindling in number. Then, there is a lengthier story at the end, one of a different theme, and with much detail, so that the reader might be tempted to stop before finishing the piece. It is worth the effort, however, to read to the end, because of the surprising turn-around and metamorphosis of the main character. If nothing more, the reader has to feel an admiration for the diversity of theme and characterization exhibited in this piece, an appropriate conclusion for the other interesting and entertaining works of words.