Edith Pearlman has been hailed as one of the greatest short story writers ever, and Honeydew serves to further cement her reputation. Honeydew collects twenty stories with varied themes including loss, life and death, and love. “Tenderfoot” tells the story of a pedicurist who keeps customers secrets. “Dream Children” follows a nanny navigating a foreign land who discovers the father’s drawings of deformed children to ward off evils from his own. In “Puck,” two women discuss their past love lives in an antique shop while buying and selling an odd golden statue.
While the stories Edith Pearlman puts forth in Honeydew are perfect and delightful vignettes into other’s lives, the true joy in reading Pearlman’s work is her writing. Due to the small nature of short stories many authors sacrifice prose for plot in their writing, creating interesting stories that are plainly written. Pearlman avoids this classic pitfall, making each of her twenty stories a true pleasure to read. The downside to her writing is the ambiguity the reader occasionally feels. It isn’t uncommon for several pages to pass before the crux of the story is shown. This issue is especially evident in her story “Blessed Harry”, which is delightful once the reader gets a sense of the story’s purpose.
Overall Honeydew is an endearing collection of short fiction that should please new fans of short stories, and Edith Pearlman fans alike.
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