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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Astray by Emma Donoghue, audio format
“Astray” is an anthology of fourteen short stories that transport the reader to the past where they will meet historical characters who were once emigrants or the reader will experience an event from the past that deals with emigration. Many of the characters will sound familiar to readers; however; readers may not be familiar with the background or inspirations. Through these stories we travel through time, briefly touching down on different eras and different countries. There are too many stories to summarize each one but I would like to mention a few. 'Counting the Days' takes readers back to the days of famish in Ireland. The setting is sometime in the 1840s. The husband has traveled to Quebec ahead of his family. His wife is reluctant to immigrate. One story takes place in the American Wild West. In it a husband is on a binge and it is up to his wife to retrieve him. One story deals with a mother searching for her daughter. This book is beautifully written, entertaining and emotion-filled. At times it made me sad. At other times I was smiling. I could easily listen to this book over and over. Thank you Emma Donoghue!
Emma Donoghue is a master at writing in the first person. She seems to enter the minds of the characters and conveys their thoughts, words and personalities to readers. Not only does the story change but the author manages to change her outlook My copy was audio and wisely the author chose a multitude of readers rather than just one. The variety of voices made the characters come alive. This book has three unique sections: Departures, In Transit, and Arrivals and Aftermaths.