“ Author: Molly Ringwald / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 04 July 2013 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd / Title: When it Happens to You / ISBN 13: 9781471113499 / ISBN 10: 1471113499 „
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Sorry for the corny headline but I chose to read this book only because Molly Ringwall featured in so many films from my youth so I was interested in her skills as a writer. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
The book itself tells the story of a family at a turbulent time. It is made up of a collection of short stories. Each story is a stand alone piece with an underlying story piece running through it. The underlying plot is of a turbulent period in the life of a husband and wife.
The main character for each individual story is different and each has a smaller or larger part in the underlying plot. The main part of each short story touches the timeline of the underlying plot. This is not always in chronological order so it may not be immediately obvious how the underlying plot is moved on by it but I did feel that all the pieces of the jigsaw were in place by the end. It certainly did not detract from my enjoyment of the book either as a whole, or as individual stories.
One character in the underlying plot was not given a voice either in anyone else's story or their own. This was an interesting approach which I felt was in keeping with the development of the underlying plot where many details were left to the reader to complete and with the overall outcome of the story itself.
As I said, I enjoyed the book. I felt that each short story was an interesting read in its own right, covering a different aspect of family life. The development of the characters in the short stories was achieved quickly and in an interesting and believable way. I was left at the end of many short stories wanting to know more about their main character which I believe reflects the good characterisation within each short story. The standalone nature of the short stories also give the opportunity for the reader, if they wish to, to treat them as vignettes and challenge their own responses to family issues.
The format made the book very quick to read and I would recommend it especially to those who do most of their reading just before lights out for sleep. Short stories give a sense of completion at the end of each chapter with only a few key things needed for the underlying story to work.
The book is published in the USA some comes with American spelling. It is however available in paper form in the UK and Kindle download