We all carry our own battle scars. This is the premise of War Stories, a rich collection of short fiction that draws upon both the literal and figurative meaning of its title. Through a diverse array of characters, settings, and circumstances, War Stories delivers a series of powerful tales from the home front of war: the stories of parents, siblings, and spouses of those who have fought, as well as those who have returned from battle.
Set against the backdrop of recent wars, War Stories’ compelling nine narratives tell of a wounded veteran who seeks renewal through an imagined relationship with a neighborhood girl, a grieving father who finds peace and reconciliation at the site of a disastrous bus crash, and a young woman who searches for identity and meaning in the wake of her husband’s injury. Interspersed with these tales are powerful, non-traditional “war stories” – of youth, unexpected loss, and heartbreaking love.
War Stories’ thoughtful and beautifully crafted tales, which range in style from deceptively simple to rich and complex, tell of people young and old, male and female, who share two things: humanity and resilience. These diverse and deftly written stories are joined through Elisabeth Doyle’s remarkable style and ease in creating a universe full of despair, hope, and dreams. At turns tender and harsh, tragic and yearning, these stories will leave you wanting more.
“Ms. Doyle writes in a spare style reminiscent of Hemingway, but her stories pack the wallop of Raymond Carver. Her characters are ordinary people coping with pain, disappointment, loss and yearning–simply because there is no other way to keep going. Doyle makes them into the kind of everyday heroes who never get written about, yet their seemingly unimportant lives will leave their imprint in your memory. She is a gifted writer whose work is deceptively emotional.” – Carol Saline, journalist, author, broadcaster and public speaker.
“Each of the nine stories takes the reader into that place where pain originates, where emotions are stretched beyond their elastic limit, where the ability to cope may not be conceivable – until something happens that turns on the strength to survive. Doyle manages to keep us with her because of her indomitable faith in humanity and the resilience of the human spirit. For those of us who have survived battlefields of wars the stories ring sharply true…This is a brilliant acheivement in the hands of a writer who somehow understands war – in all its permutations.”
– Grady Harp, Amazon Book Reviewer - To read the entire review go to the book’s Amazon Review Page