“Dropping Out,” by Danielle de Valera

However, each person is likeable in his or her own way, and thanks to the author’s talent, mostly understandable. Considering the variety of different outcasts, this is an accomplishment in itself.

There is a pleasant, warm-day-in-the-shade feeling to all these stories, which insulates us from the harsh reality of the world the characters can’t cope with. The villian in one story becomes the main character in the next, so it’s hard to take sides, become involved in the conflict. This keeps the suspense low. There seems to be a slight haze between the reader and each character’s emotions, keeping our empathy from overwhelming us.

This book is almost a novel, because the tales string together and time passes, mostly passing the characters by. It is also a collection of short stories, although to some degree each story leans on the others, depending upon our knowledge of the history of each main character in earlier stories, obliquely referred to but unexplained. So sometimes the characters blend, and you’re not sure which one we’re looking at right now.

But it’s a great read for a warm summer afternoon in the hammock.

4 Stars (4 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

1 Comment

  1. Reply Danielle de Valera

    Thanks so much for your kind review, Gordon. (I hope I managed to send you a longer email at the time, thanking you in more detail – at my age, things can get a bit hazy. I’m currently on the secondlast edit of the 1960s Brisbane novel, turning that 1st POV into 3rd, thanks so much for your input on those first three chapters that helped me to make up my mind. Will make sure you’re in Acknowledgments when the novel comes out in 2018. (Its current title is The Last Romantics, but as you know with these things, that could change.)

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