Short stories: Like a House on Fire
- Author: Cate Kennedy
- Title: Like a House on Fire (15 short stories)
- Published: 2012
- Trivia: Shortlisted Stella Prize 2013
- Trivia: Winner Queensland Literary Award 2013 short story collection
- List Reading Challenges 2018
- Monthly reading planning
Flexion – excellent – great last sentence – wife-husband relationship.
Ashes – excellent – great last sentence – son-mother and recently deceased father relationship.
Laminex and Mirrors – wonderful….very funny yet touching.
Narrator is an 18 yr cleaning girl in hospital who establishes a connection with an old dying man. The matron keeps a close eye on our young girl when she lingers too long with her new friend: ”matron calls her in a tone of permafrost…she snaps in an enraged whisper.” The old man is whisked away by the girl for a surprise hot steaming bath. ” Haven’t felt this way in years…weightless.” The old man also gets at the desired but forbidden cigarette from this young cleaner…he’s elated and says “Your blood is worth bottling.”
Tender – Honest, often-hilarious perspective of family life with the backdrop of an approaching appointment for the mother’s biopsy. She remains the Rock of Gibraltar for her family despite her fears.
Like a House on Fire – Hilarious description of father who is chief child-care provider (…suffering from lower back pain)…while he gets the Christmas decorations from the attic…puts the tree in the bucket with bricks to anchor it. The children are not in the Xmas mood but Dad says: “TV of off until every piece of tinsel is on the tree!” Family life and on Christmas eve and relationship with wife endearing and told in details we all see around the house! – Absolutely terrific!! It seems every story gets better and better! Bravo Cate Kennedy, this was the BEST story!
- These are the notes I made about the first five short stories.
- It seem every story got increasingly better!
- Unfortunately….the rest of the stories failed to dazzle me.
- The first 5 stories tasted like a sparking glass of champagne
- ….they went straight to my head!
- The last 10 stories tasted like sparkling water
- … refreshing but without the ‘bubble buzz’.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.