‘A captured moth, the memory holds
Releasing as the wings unfold…
Then let it free, we need not fear
Such other worlds exist, it’s clear’
( Excerpt from Another Time, a poem by Adrienne Vaughan)
Fur Coat & No Knickers is a collection of short stories and poetry from Irish Writer Adrienne Vaughan. Published in 2016, I received a copy from Adrienne, with a lovely personal note, following our paths crossing on Facebook.
Please read on for my unbiased review of Fur Coat & No Knickers..
From the Cover:
An impoverished heiress desperate to keep up appearances;
a bitter and broken-hearted widow whose wilful terrier leads her to romance;
an ageing theatrical masquerading as a highly-paid carer and a woman whose husband has maintained a secret family throughout their married life!
Just some of the fascinating and unforgettable characters in this fabulous new collection by award-winning author Adrienne Vaughan.
When I first heard the name of Adrienne Vaughan’s book I was quite intrigued to see what was behind the very glossy cover. What could I expect? A little treasure trove of a collection or, as the name implies, all shiny on the outside but not so underneath.
This is a diverse mix of twelve short stories and sixteen poems, all written at different times in Adrienne Vaughan’s life, with the first recorded in the eighties and the most recent in 2016.
I make no secret of the fact that a short story collection is not the type of book I would normally pick up, yet I don’t know why. There is something quite tantalising about dipping your toes into snippets of peoples lives. As the writer has limited words to convey a story, it really is left up to the reader to imagine what happened next.
Adrienne Vaughan tells us she is inspired by PG Wodehouse and this influence is felt when reading through this collection, particularly in the title story Fur Coat & No Knickers. The conversations had, the impressions given, the touches of humour all allude to another era, another time
‘I’d never been particularly fond of Celia. She was bossy, belligerent and at times solidly boring.…’
But this is not just a collection of stories.
Intermittently dispersed throughout is a little treasure trove of poems. For me personally, i loved this idea. It provided a great variety while reading through the pages, never knowing what was coming next.
As this collection is well indexed it’s very easy to jump between the pages wherever your mood takes you, I have found myself picking up the book after finishing it and re-reading a line in a poem, an opener of a story but for me personally, one poem really grabbed my attention ‘Friends in Graveyards’ and I’m sure Adrienne won’t mind if I post a verse here
‘The more friends in graveyards the better,
If you catch my meaning.
Plenty to see on the other side.
Plenty waiting to greet me.
The more the merrier, there’ll be a hell of a hooley
If you pardon the pun
And I shall look forward to it
It’s the only way’
Finally, can I just say, that this the perfect handbag book for all you folk who like to dip into a quick read while in a cafe, waiting on a train or just sitting on a park bench on a sunny day.
Adrienne Vaughan has captured a little something special in this book. I know I will occasionally be found immersing myself in a gentle word or verse and I really do encourage you to take a look behind the cover!!
Purchase Link ~ Fur Coat & No Knickers
About the Author:
Adrienne Vaughan is a born storyteller and as soon as she could pick up a pen she started writing them down.
It came as no surprise she wanted to be a journalist and dived headfirst into her career after graduating from the Dublin College of Journalism.
Today she is a journalist and author, having recently completed her fourth novel Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel to be published in 2017.
‘I’ve been a novelist forever, in my head anyway. I’ve dreamed and planned and schemed, usually with a pen in my hand and a notebook not too far away. I wrote my first novel over thirty years ago and like most of us real life manoeuvred into prime position and dreams were put on hold.
But if you dream (plan and scheme) hard enough ardent wishes become reality and four novels and a short story collection later, I’m a real novelist, dreaming and scheming to my heart’s content.‘
Social Media Links
Ah, Mairead, what a fabulous review of Fur Coat & No Knickers, I’m delighted short stories and poems are not your usual thing and thrilled you enjoyed them all so much, thank you. The short story is very much in the Irish literary tradition, as you well know, and although I stlll moan like mad about being dragged kicking and screaming from a modern junior school in England to a strict convent in Dublin the beginnings of any skill I have was certainly nurtured and nourished by my wonderful teachers there.
My very talented sister painted the cover, too. I love it.
Thanks again! X
Delighted with your feedback Adrienne. It’s always good to step outside the zone. An absolute pleasure Adrienne. x
Oh, what a fabulous review!
Thank you so much Isabella. Lovely to hear that. x
I am one of Adrienne’s biggest fans. Her books have always got something new to offer the reader. I keep this one on the side table in our guest bedroom and my guests have loved it, too.
It’s absolutely perfect for that Lizzie. What a fantastic idea!!! Thank you for taking the time to comment. Very appreciated. x
Thanks Isabella and Lizzie … what a brilliant idea Lizzie, I now will do the same, in fact I’m going to put ALL the New Romantics Press books in the spare room – guests might become so engrossed I’ll never see them! X
I loved the pick-and-mix nature of Adrienne’s short stories and poems. A great read.
Why thank you June!! I really appreciate that. xx