Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review: Milk and Oranges by Charlene Wexler

Hello Everyone,

The Global E-Book Awards are over and the winners announced! I'd like to say congratulations to you all and it was an honor to be a judge for this awards ceremony. Having said that, let the reviews follow.

This week I am reviewing Milk and Oranges by Charlene Wexler. This a collection of short stories. Most, if not all, are from the author's own life. There were two stories that really got me. The fist was called "The Cruel Club". It was an amazing short that made me cry (yes, this guy does that once in a while). It dealt with grief and loss, more specifically mothers who have lost a child. In this case it was related to cancer. I found the emotional part of it gripping, to say the least.

The other story was entitled "Motorcycles are Dangerous". It is somewhat related to "The Cruel Club". It's about her dying son (leukemia), who wants a motorcycle. It's a very short bit, but the emotion is again raw and I found it interesting.

Unfortunately these are the only good stories from this book. For me, the remaining thirty-three stories were not good. I found many of them to be poorly written, and not because of poor editing (editing was good) or poor command of the English language. It was just that the stories were relatively boring. If there was something special about these stories they were lost on me. Maybe "I had to be there", or something like that. I find it somewhat difficult to say that an author should have gotten more in depth when it comes to short stories, but a little more wouldn't have hurt. If Wexler wants to make these more interesting to the reader, they need a little more punch or something. I just wasn't seeing it. There was also a slight hint of "holier than thou" attitude in some of the stories. It wasn't present in all of them, for sure. But it reminded me of one of my aunt-in laws and how she is always keeping up appearances. It's weird, but it didn't sit right with me. It actually made me kind of dislike the author.

I wish I could give this book more than two stars, but I can't. That's where it is. If "The Cruel Club" and "Motorcycles are Dangerous" were their own book apart from the other thirty plus stories, I'd give it four stars. So if you really want to read those two stories, I'd say go get her e-book. I believe it is available at most online e-book retailers. Otherwise, if your reading tastes are anything like mine, good luck.

Until next time,

R. M.


  1. Two stories is not enough to make me want to read this book. On the other hand, I'm not much for short story collections.

    What can you do? ::shrug::

  2. Yeah, I hear ya... Had it not been for my being a GEA judge, I would have probably not gotten past the second or third story, and would have missed those 2 entirely. I didn't feel it was fair to only talk about the book as a whole either when there were a couple of really good ones in there. Anyways, thanks for your thoughts... much appreciated!

  3. This sounds like a really great collection of short stories, I will definitely have to check it out!

    I am a new follower and look forward to reading more of your reviews. :)