Dressing Up for the Carnival by Carol Shields- Book Review

I just finished reading Pulitzer Prize Winner Carol Shield’s collection of short stories. I have enjoyed her work in the past, her novels, especially “Larry’s Party.”

One thing I will say about “Dressing Up for the Carnival” is that I was continually surprised. Shields is a writer who changes from my viewpoint to the next with ease, someone who can seemingly be behind anyone’s eyes and you would except her to be there. The stories range from a meek writer who wants to find the perfect scarf for her daughter to a grandfather who started a nudist camp. The objects in her story are brought to life and we can see how objects can hold such deep meaning.

My favourite story was ” Invention” a sweet and amusing tale of all the people in a family who had invented things. As a grammar nerd I was so intrigued to see the stories behind the semi colon and the hyphen, so amusing the think of people actually inventing these things, before realizing that, why yes, someone had to invent them after all.

I like the reality of the stories. They almost felt gritty.

All in all it was an easy read, a great collection and continually changing. However, as I usually find with most shorts, the stories and characters just did not stay with me.

3.5/5 stars.



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