Now that I’m all caught up with the group read, you’ll be seeing these once a week until I’ve finished reading Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. Also, I’ll be able to read at a reasonable pace now, which is a good thing for Fragile Things; I can devote my full attention to the stories.
So, carrying on, the fourth week stories are:
Good Boys Deserve Favors
The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch
Strange Little Girls
I like these four stories quite a bit. It definitely was a fun group of stories. Beware (once again) there will be spoilers!
Good Boys Deserve Favors: This one about a boy who is not a very good bass player but has his moment to shine, until he breaks his bass and once fixed, never sounds the same. I really connected with this one having been a violinist as a teenager for five years. I’ve known the feeling of triumph when I’ve mastered a musical piece or frustration when it takes longer than I'd like (I didn't always practice as I should have). I’ve also had that one special school violin that did play a certain way for me and when I would try other school instruments they did not have that sound that I liked and they just didn’t feel right in my hands. I made sure each year to get that same one. I think my musical background really strengthened my connection to this story.
The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch: A mysterious underground circus and Miss Finch, the prudish party pooper, is “asked” to participate and is never seen again after her performance during the Cabinet of Wishes Fullfill’d. I came away that this underground circus took on a life of it’s own, that it will never have another show and Miss Finch may be the one and only person to have a wish fulfilled.
Strange Little Girls: Quick peaks into the lives, thoughts and feelings of different women. Some are sad, triumphant, each story vague enough that you just barely understand what is happening in these moments but allow you to fill in the blanks yourself.
Harlequin Valentine: The stalkerish aspect in the beginning, with the nailing of a heart to a door, I found a bit disturbing. But the story turned around in the end and I found it charming and sweet (for Neil Gaiman). A secret crushed revealed and satisfied by a simple “Happy Valentines Day”, was a nice way to end this story.
I could reread these four short stories again. Especially Harlequin Valentine, it put a smile on my face and Good Boys Deserve Favors for bringing back fond memories of my high school orchestra class.