Double-take Tales by Donna Brown Review

Double-take TalesDouble-take Tales by Donna Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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I have not really read any published short stories, and when I came across Donna’s Double-take Tales the title intrigued me enough to check it out. I have to now say that I was missing out on an important part of written fiction by ignoring short stories. After reading Donna’s three shorts, I’ve realized that these are really different than the full-length novels or even the shorter novellas. The space available to each story does not grant the author too much time to develop characters, or a back story. But a good short story can overcome these restrictions and make us care for what happens in the story as well as the characters.

This is what Donna is able to achieve with each of her stories in this book. The book consists of three unrelated stories each of which is tied off with a common theme. That theme is the double-take which the stories require from the readers. We start off believing something about the stories or the characters and by the end, those beliefs are turned on their heads and we are left with the thought, “What just happened? Did I read the conclusion right?” I had to in fact go back and read the stories a second time to see how the new conclusion affected the stories. This makes the book extremely enjoyable as we get to read almost completely different takes on the stories a second time. I have to commend the author at being able to achieve this. I was definitely not able to think up the conclusion of the stories, and the double-take was an amazing way for each of the stories to end.

The first story of the book follows the journey of an everyday object which travels from person to person. The author is able to bring each of the persons who are touched by the object to life for the very brief moment when the object is with them. Their hopes and aspirations, dreams and troubles are all laid bare. I always thought that this was not possible with the few words the author uses, I stand corrected and enlightened.

The second story revolves around a married housewife who seems stuck in a boring, even loveless marriage. The story of her plan to get out of this situation and the actual facts of how this happens are magnificently crafted. I could imagine her plight and her pain, but could not really come to grips with her actions. The ending left me in two minds, where I did not really like her, but was amazed at the turn of events for her. As usual, I had to go back and read the story again to truly appreciate the craft of the author.

The third story is a doozy. It is about a murder investigation being followed by someone who is closely linked to the event. The detached yet expectant way in which the person follows the investigation was brilliantly described. The ending of this story left me confused at first. But I was shocked when it actually sank in. Wow! This is all I can say.

If you want to read three terrifically crafted short stories which will make you keep coming back, get this book! My only complaint is that I wanted to read more stories by the author but had to be satisfied with JUST three. I really hope that she gets her next book out sooner. I just can’t wait too long.

Buy on Amazon

15 responses to “Double-take Tales by Donna Brown Review


    • You have to read it to see that the ending is in fact, perfect. If you read a short and understand its limitations, it can be wonderful. This is what I have learnt after picking up this one. I too never thought a good story was possible in this much space, boy, was I wrong!

  2. These sound lovely! I love a good short story because I don’t always have a ton of time to devote to reading and so it makes me feel accomplished to finish something in one sitting. 🙂 I am off to pick this up- thank you Ritesh!

  3. Hi Ritesh – thank you so very much for the wonderful review. All I can say is I started these stories with little beans for ideas and the conclusion of each was a surprise to me too! Your lovely review suggests I have done what I hoped to do, though, which was to have people stumble across an ending that made them really rethink their assumptions about the events and characters presented.

    Thank you again!

  4. Great review Ritesh, I for one love short stories. I’ll have to check these out.

  5. Pingback: Interview with Donna Brown, author of Double-take Tales | Ritesh Kala's Book Reviews

  6. Pingback: Ritesh Kala's Book Reviews: Interview with Donna Brown | Win With eBooks

  7. Pingback: Sunday Short Double-Take Tales by Donna Brown - Bunny's Book Reviews

  8. Home run! Great slguigng with that answer!

  9. i have been watching the show since i was a little girl, and even though i can only sew the basics i love the show because it gives me inspiration to be creative and want to try,,recently on Create Tv there was a episode where Nancy made Aprons.. i cant remember the episode but there were so many good ideas, i want to one day try to make one…

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