If you saw an ad in the paper "For Sale: Wedding Dress, size 20. Never Worn" would you wonder about the story behind that ad? Sophie did and this collection of 23 short stories is her response. Each is written in a different genre. Each contains the titular phrase somewhere along the way. These stories range from fact to fiction to pure fantasy. Be prepared to plunge into a multiplicity of twisting narratives filled with unexpected turns, some of which may surprise and shock you, some touch and delight you. Become enthralled in a collection written with sensitivity for the challenges and delights of love relationships by a relationship therapist who weaves autobiographical details and imagination into a rich and diverse tapestry. Each story is followed by an invitation to the reader to join the author on a journey of self-discovery through writing.
The opening story describes how the book came to be; how an ad from the pages of a "Free Trader" magazine led to a conversation between the author and her husband and sparked inspiration for the first story, followed by many others. Presented in the pages is an adventure for everybody, including humourous situations, erotica, a spiritual journey, elements of sci-fi, a fairy tale, a bet between two drag queens, a weight loss program, a narrative poem, a story of grief and loss, a travelogue and much more. Watch as a fascinating diversity of characters emerge from the pages. Meet a police woman whose partner doesn't show up on the wedding day, the madame of a brothel specializing in wedding scenarios, women and men dealing with the consequences of childhood sexual abuse, a man breaking out from his restrictive childhood, a women grieving her sister's death from cancer, a couple who meet on a train, Mary and Joseph, an alien from the Andromeda galaxy, a giant and a witch, a Fat Admirer, the dress itself, the man who sets off to discover the real story behind the ad, as well as many other endearing and unlikeable characters. Follow one woman's spiritual journey and another woman's transformative journey around New Zealand. These and others will touch and fascinate you, will expand your horizons. The compassion and understanding put into creating these characters invites the reader to relate in a very personal way, whether straight, LGBTQ+, fat, thin, young, old, male, female.
This is a great book for a book club or writing group to include on their list; it provides endless possibilities for discussion and insight into the minds of others. After the first story the reader is presented with an invitation to create their own version of the story behind the ad and then after each story are prompts to go on to further writing, if desired.
Comments from Readers:
"Sophie’s stories invite one into a multiverse of love, humour, sex and desire with the utmost kindness to the reader and characters that she so vividly brings to life. The blend of everyday context with awareness of the larger societal narratives allows the reader to get lost in the familiar yet unspoken landscape of lives lived loudly and well. Get a cup of tea going, settle in for a deliciously languid and lusty exploration of Sophie’s world." – Sri Muthu, CEO HealthVenture
“Brilliantly written, Sophie Slade uses her best creative mind to create these compelling full living catastrophe short stories. They are insightful, gutsy, bawdy, poignant, whimsical, erotic, mischievous, intriguing, fanciful, and full of crone wisdom! The book is a must read in front of the fire. Be prepared to enjoy, to laugh and to cry." - Maureen Brine, Imago Relationship therapist and lead female Interventionist on A & E television show, Intervention Canada”
“The stories in this book are poignant, funny, imaginative and psychologically true. Sophie Slade is a great writer with creativity and wit.” - Cheryl Dolinger Brown, LCSW, psychotherapist, NYC
“Readers are sure to devour – and be inspired by – this fun, imaginative and insightful short-story collection.” Nikki Ali, novelist, editor and historian (@mistressmwriter).
“Each of these stories is psychologically sophisticated, sensitive, erotic and leaves us feeling that we truly know the woman who placed the ad.” – Sylvia Rosenfeld, Relationship and Sex Therapist.
“Sophie’s stories are filled with rich character development, descriptive sensual, sexual and psychologically sophisticated details that titillated this reader. …delicious surprise twists and unexpected conclusions.” Carol Kramer, psychotherapist, NYC.