Elsie by Jessica Marie Holt

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Elsie: Homecoming Series Book One by Jessica Marie Holt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“I will wait,” he said… “But only if you do something for me.”
“Anything, George, name it.”
“Forgive me. And go on.

Elsie finally settled into contentment after becoming a widow. But now that her sons have convinced her to make a life change she never wanted, she comes to a pivotal crossroads in Elsie by author Jessica Marie Holt.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of short stories. I don’t place all the same expectations on them that I place on novels, as I prefer to appreciate short fiction for what it is, rather than what it’s not. Oftentimes, short reads give me a nice snack in between longer works.

However, when a story has a greater impact on me in twenty minutes of reading than many novels have on me in five to ten hours, it reminds me how amazing short fiction can be. A story like Elsie’s could easily be a quick shot of syrupy, dreary, shallow, or simplistic fare, something I’d fly through without taking too seriously. But this story is none of those things.

It’s beautifully written. Down-to-earth, yet intensely felt. Contemplative, poignant, and unafraid to do something outside of the predictable. Hey, it even gets disturbing. I sighed, smiled, or gasped here and there, cried “No!” out loud at least once, and found myself tearing up a good two and a half times besides.

Yeah. All that. In twenty minutes.

And without the unresolved, jarring halt of a cliffhanger, this story’s touching conclusion indicates that there’s more to come. I’m very much looking forward to reading the next story in the Homecoming series.


Here’s my review of the next story in the Homecoming series, Amos.



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