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Tuesday 25 October 2011

Women Aloud

By various authors – for short story week

A charity anthology audiobook for National Short Story Week 2011 NOW AVAILABLE ON CD!

'Women Aloud' is an audio anthology of short stories written by eleven of the UK's best loved women's fiction writers.

There's something for everyone in this unique audiobook - love, laughter, thrills and chills. It will make a great gift for a friend, mum, sister, grandmother, aunt, girlfriend, wife, partner or...yourself!

Listen to stories by Trisha Ashley, Judy Astley, Elizabeth Chadwick, Rowan Coleman, Katie Fforde, Milly Johnson, Catherine King, Sophie King, Carole Matthews, Sue Moorcroft and Allie Spencer.

I’m really excited to be able to review a short story collection for Bookersatz. This one is particularly unusual since it is an audiobook, and I think it’s the first time I’ve listened to a selection of short stories rather than reading them.

There is a great balance of stories in this anthology, plenty of emotion, but plenty of humour as well. ‘A Woman Of Good Taste’ by Milly Johnson and ‘At Your Convenience’ by Sophie King were both highly amusing – the humour delivered perfectly by the chosen narrators.

The collection is also full of compassion, and I found many of the stories very moving. Sue Moorcroft’s ‘Crossing To The Other Line’ is thoughtful and touching, and Rowan Coleman’s ‘In Real Life’ is full of yearning and indecision.

From the life-affirming ‘Fox Sleeping’ by Judy Astley to the romance of ‘The One’ by Katie Fforde there is something for everyone in this collection. And if you like your stories a bit spooky and sinister, then ‘The Garden’ by Catherine King fits that bill very nicely.

Everything about this double CD, from the selection of the stories to the performances of the narrators, is fantastic. I’m now sold on the idea of audiobooks – listen while you drive, while you potter in the kitchen or just sit with your feet up! The short story form works really well in this format and I recommend this collection as a delightful listening experience.

Reviewed by Helen M Hunt

You can find out more about National Short Story Week here, and you can read an interview with Rowan Coleman about the project on my main blog Fiction Is Stranger Than Fact.

Proceeds from the CD go to the Helena Kennedy Foundation

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