Book Review #35: Traveling Left of Center by Nancy Christie

Posted on September 8, 2014 «
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A collection of 18 short stories, Traveling Left of Center by Nancy Christie takes you on a journey through the human condition. Christie is a masterful writer fully developing characters in just a few short pages. There is a quote in “Skating on Thin Ice” that summarizes this collection quite nicely.

I have since learned that thin ice is not only a condition of winter, not confined to stretches of frozen water. There is thin ice everywhere–between lovers and friends, between reality and obsession, between hope and despair.

The quote also probably explains why even though none of the stories in this collection are especially happy; they are not extremely depressing either. Each story was like getting a glimpse into some poor soul’s life, almost like a commercial or snapshot, and then stepping away. Each snapshot was fully told and I could move on and I believe the characters moved on, for better or for worse.

My favorite stories in the collection
  • “Alice in Wonderland”
  • “The Clock”
    • The poor husband in this story gets his revenge. It reminded me of some of the episodes of The Twilight Zone.
  • “Exit Row”
    • Oh, the horrors of flying and being stuck with someone you hate! How would you escape?

Overall, I would give Traveling Left of Center by Nancy Christie a thumbs up. While I liked some stories better than others, each story is unique, well-rounded and gives a tantalizing peek into difficulties of the human condition.
About Nancy Christie
Nancy Christie is a full-time writer whose passion is fiction. Having written for numerous magazines and journals, her short stories can be found in literary publications such as Full of Crow, Fiction365, Red Fez, Wanderings, The Chaffin Journal and Xtreme. Christie is working on several other book projects, including a novel and a book for writers. She is the founder of Celebrate Short Fiction Day. A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Nancy teaches workshops at writing conferences and schools across the country and hosts the monthly Monday Night Writers group in Canfield, Ohio.
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I received an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for a honest review.