Review of The Loose Lip Brigade!

The Loose Lip Brigade by Julia Newman is a collection of short stories. They’re all connected, yet independent of each other. I was impressed by Ms. Newman’s ability to describe people and situations,  it was so easy to picture/hear and empathize with the characters.
I can’t pick just one as a favorite, but I know in several stories, a few particular lines really stood out and strummed the thread of connection within me.  “There wasn’t any pride in her eyes. There wasn’t any remorse. There was just fact. And that was enough. It really was enough.”  Anyone who has ever felt slightly betrayed or hurt by their partner understands that line, the needing to know that hurt wasn’t intentional.
Another line that resonated with me: “And over their pewter pot of bitter tea, something popped.  A sudden burst that flashed and faded out of reach, but momentarily forced a kind of humbling.” I’ve never read something that so eloquently describes the  moment when your idealistic hope just dies.
Ms. Newman does tackle some tough subjects in the stories: a mother whose health is failing, alcoholism, sexual abuse. She does not write about these subjects in an exploitative manner, instead they are parts of the story you discover, like peeling the layers of an onion. I found myself identifying with the characters in certain respects,  which to me is a clear indicator of the author’s storytelling ability.
In summary, The Loose Lip Brigade is a great book, with stories that speak to the reader, and make you wish the stories were a full book. I truly look forward to reading more by Julia Newman!


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