Through Any Window

Through Any Window

Fiction

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About the book

Patricia Stone’s second collection of short stories takes a hard look at the lives of modern, mature, reluctantly independent women who are struggling to find themselves in the world. Her protagonists discover that they have blindly, foolishly trusted their husbands or lovers or therapists or friends. Ultimately they must all learn to rely on themselves.

About the author

Stone, Patricia

Patricia Stone is a retired college English teacher, who was born and raised in Oshawa, Ontario, and currently resides in Peterborough, ON. She has also lived in Toronto, London, Vancouver, and Montreal. She has travelled widely in Britain, France, Italy, Holland, Germany, Hawaii, and the United States. Stone's stories have been widely published in Canadian periodicals for many years. Her first collection of short stories, Close Calls, was published by Cormorant Books in 1991; her third collection, All Things Considered, was published in 2008 by Hidden Brook Press. Stone holds an M.A. in English Literature, as well as an M.A. in Creative Writing.

Excerpt

from "A Perfect Fit"

Sylvia pulls a cigarette from her purse and touches Dwayne on the elbow for a light. He is talking to a man wearing a sweater and suede vest. Threads of their conversation reach her but the essential story is drowned out by a stereo speaker to her left. She idles with the cigarette between her fingers and then quickly looks up, positive that someone is watching, Alice perhaps. But she is wrong; no one is staring. Sylvia goes over the things she has planned to say, how she will look when Dwayne introduces them.

The fact that he knows so many new people amazes and infuriates her. It was the thing she dreaded, the reason she didn't want to come today—but she did not want him to come alone either.

"I'm only going because you want me to," Sylvia finally blurted out while they were parking the van. Now it occurs to her that she has come for other reasons.

She presses her fingernail into his elbow. He turns quickly while he is still talking. Taking a pack of matches from his pocket, he strikes one, nodding his head while the other man continues to describe something. They are discussing a Montreal-Vancouver game, a home run, the players. He is seated on the arm of the velvet chair two feet above Sylvia's head. Hardly looking, just enough to aim and miss her hair, he lights her cigarette and waves the match. Curls and circles of blue smoke lose their shape overhead.

Dwayne pockets the matches. "Are you all right?" he asks her, without smiling.

I'd better be, Sylvia thinks. She nods, unable to think fast enough.

Her mind is like a screen for stills. She allows a watery, impressionistic image of their rented farm to take shape in her mind, the dust along the driveway nestling into the hedge and blades of grass as the day winds down. She cannot remember, when she tries to, her reasons for leaving to travel after three years of living in the country with Dwayne. She cannot believe that they fought as much then as they do now. Although the farm was their discovery together, and not his alone, her absence has handed it over to him—he can make her leave if he decides to.

Reviews

[Patricia Stone’s] style favours a longer version of the short story form usually structured around a quartet of main characters with others in the wings, summoned forth for brief but memorable cameo performances.... The tone... is kept this side of… >>

Event

In the risks that she takes, in the escapes that persist, Stone exhibits a finely strung and articulate imagination. >>

University of Toronto Quarterly

A woman in a full-length slip gazes out a window on the cover of Stone's latest book. The woman's hand cups the window frame and her eyes follow a seemingly endless trail. Stone, whose first collection of short stories, Close… >>

The Peterborough Examiner

It’s obvious Stone’s strengths lie in the ability to capture the nuances of her protagonists’ inner lives and to make those lives ultra-real for the reader. >>

Halifax Book Store News

Patricia Stone’s stories manage to be intellectually stimulating without being 'intellectual.' >>

Canadian Book Review Annual


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