Saturday, 22 November 2014

Room in Your Heart - Wendy Clarke

About the book...
'She kept a special room in her heart. For a while, the door was locked and then, one day, she felt able to visit the room and realised that, instead of being a place to fear, it was full of happiness...'

Room in Your Heart is a collection of twelve romantic short stories of love and loss, previously published in The People's Friend Magazine. The stories allow the reader to peak into the hearts of twelve ordinary people who share one belief... in the power of love.  


Room in Your Heart is Wendy's first collection of short stories.




About the author...

Wendy Clarke started writing when the primary school she taught in closed down. After completing two on-line writing courses, she started writing short fiction for magazines. Since then, she has sold nearly a hundred short stories and her work regularly appears in national women's magazines such as The People's Friend, Take a Break Fiction Feast and Woman's Weekly. She has also written two serials and a number of magazine articles.

Wendy lives with her husband, cat and step-dog in Sussex and when not writing is usually dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food! 


Room in Your Heart is Wendy's first collection of short stories.


My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.  Room in Your Heart is a beautiful collection of 12 short stories each one very different but each one tugged at my heart strings in differing ways.  I've always been a person to pick the fattest books on the shelf so I have to be very honest and say I usually avoid short stories because I'm usually left unfulfilled. Because of the length I've often felt that the characters have no depth, the story too thin, or way too short I finish it feeling I've been short changed.

Not so in this case! Life has been a tad hectic lately and perhaps that would explain why I was so receptive to this book, either that or Wendy is a literary genius.  Probably a mixture of the two I'd say.  It's no secret that my favourite sort of book is a book that has a message running beneath the surface.  That I can relate more to a book if the words mean something and I can take something away with me.  This collection of stories does just that.  

From the very first story I was hooked.  Time and space allowed Rachel and Mark to see what was important in their lives and reveal how strong their love really was.  This was the classic case of letting something go and if it's meant to be it'll come back to you.  Such a heart warming story to kick off the collection.

Love is a strange thing, there isn't a simple recipe for success and Wendy demonstrates this through each of the stories.  Coming at situations and scenarios from different angles.  Sometimes we don't always see what's under our nose and we are too close to people and situations to make informed decisions.  Sometimes we need the wisdom of an older person, sometimes we have to be given what we thought we wanted to realise that it's not really the right thing for us.  But one thing shines through each story, love isn't just a physical thing, it's all around us in the words and actions of all the people around us and when the timing, person and situation is right it will shine through like a beacon leaving no doubt whats so ever.

This is a feel good book that can't fail to lift your spirits, leaving you with a warm glow.  The depth of characters and descriptive skills from Wendy are second to none, very impressive indeed - how she managed to set a scene, introduce several characters and reach a conclusion in so few pages is beyond me, something I didn't think was possible.  I settled down with this book, thinking I'll read a couple of stories and then a couple the next day but I didn't stop - I read the whole collection in one sitting and was left with the thoughts 'I wonder what else this author has written?' 

I highly recommend making 'Room in Your Heart' for this collection of short stories.  The situations and people are varied, nostalgic, modern about people from all walks of life about people both young and old. I guarantee you'll smile, ooh and agh, laugh out loud and even be close to tears if you don't actually shed a tear.   There are characters to dislike, under-dogs to cheer on, children and teenagers just starting out in the world, adults beginning their  lives together and those that have been around the block a few times.  Each and everyone necessary to the stories and each one will evoke feelings, thoughts and opinions.

Thank you so much Wendy for opening my eyes to the beauty of short stories and for making me shed my pre-conceived ideas.  I truly enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the next offerings from Wendy Clarke.