You know the Dugans. They’re that scrappy bunch down the street. Their yard is overgrown, they don’t pick up after their dog. The father hasn’t earned a cent in years. The wife holds them together on her income alone. Their five children run free, leaving chaos in their wake. You wouldn’t want them for neighbors, but from a distance, they’re quite entertaining.
Of course, alcohol is an issue. You can tell from the empty bottles lying under the bush out front. You can hardly blame the wife for leaving one day. Without her at the helm, the rest carry on the best they can.
Their strong sense of family keeps them going. They help each other, and in some cases, rescue each other. They struggle for a better life. While they never follow the rules, or completely conquer adversity, they stare it down, meet their challenges, and earn some much needed respect. They might even make you proud.
Set in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, the twelve linked stories in Our Love Could Light The World depict a dysfunctional family that’s messy and rude, cruel and kind, and loyal to the end.
Parrish is in possession of such precise prose, devilish wit, and big-hearted compassion that I couldn’t help but be drawn into the hijinks and mishaps of the Dugan family. I found myself one moment laughing out loud, and the next, overcome with emotion. I’d compare these linked stories to those of George Saunders, Elizabeth Strout, or perhaps even Flannery O’Connor, if Parrish’s voice weren’t so clearly and wonderfully her own.
— Ross McMeekin, Editor, Spartan
Parrish knows the subtle movements of families in turmoil and the flailing attempts at love and peace. She takes you inside the homes of your neighbors, or of people like them, and she captures in fine detail their private, crippling agonies and their tiny, saving grace notes. Reading Our Love Could Light the World is like holding up a mirror—you see yourself, and then, if you look closely, you also see things you might otherwise have missed.
— Craig Lancaster, author of 600 Hours of Edward and Edward Adrift
Anne Leigh Parrish’s debut story collection, All The Roads That Lead From Home, (Press 53, 2011) won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver Medal for best short story fiction. She lives in Seattle. To learn more, visit her at www.anneleighparrish.com
Anne Leigh Parrish’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, June 3rd: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, June 5th: What She Read
Thursday, June 6th: The Relentless Reader
Monday, June 10th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, June 11th: Seaside Book Nook
Wednesday, June 12th: Conceptual Reception
Thursday, June 13th: Books Speak Volumes
Monday, June 17th: The Best Books Ever
Tuesday, June 18th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, June 18th: BookChickDi
Wednesday, June 19th: Camilla Stein Review
Monday, June 24th: BookNAround