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If you've hesitated to read The Meaning of Children because you're convinced you are NOT a fan of short stories, this is the book that will change your mind! Short stories are perfect for commutes; many readers have told me how much the enjoy reading just one before bed. Savor each one, like fine chocolate.
Here some comments that may convince you, from my many incredibly kind Amazon readers (4.8 stars overall average):
"When Beverly Akerman Tweeted a special offer on The Meaning of Children, I hesitated. I've never had children and live halfway around the world from my partner's beloved grandchildren. Children have never played a big role in my life. But that is the mark of a skilled author, to take a subject that may be foreign to us and make it universal, familiar.
"She also overcame my aversion to short stories. I love to immerse myself in a book, not be pushed out of it after a handful of pages. More skill on the author's part.
"I read one story, then another, then another, each time caught up in the storytelling, each time satisfied at story's end. The diversity of the stories is one of the book's strengths. Akerman crawls into the minds of so many different characters and each time makes them believable. She holds childhood out like a rough stone, chipping away at its many stages until the book becomes a fine gem.
"I read every story with delight, grateful to be in the hands of such a skilled writer."
"takes you back to the time you were a child. No matter you did not grow up in Montreal or Jewish, the situations, conflicts, joys and fears are universal. Akerman grounds emotions with rich descriptions and a strong sense of place."
"I can't stop thinking about this book."
"A life-altering read is so rare..."
"every story is about innocence and the loss of innocence"
"Many of her characters are damaged, rather tha[n] flawed, which makes these stories both quirky and compelling."