I just finished Alethea Black’s sweet book of short stories I Knew You’d Be Lovely. Alethea Black was in my brother’s class in high school, and I knew her younger sister. Because I grew up in a small town, the Black family was sort of on my radar–and who can forget a name like Alethea?–so it was with great curiosity that I picked up the book at a yard sale wondering if it was the same woman I knew (of). I had no idea she was a writer; I always feel like writers from my hometown, from college, are on my radar somehow, but she was not.
In any event, the stories are colorful and fun to read. There are surprises and good characters. Like all collections, some stories are stronger than others, and I found as the book progressed that I began to care more about the characters and find more interest and likeability in their quirks. Many of the stories are set outside of Boston, where we grew up, and my tenth-grade Chemistry teacher even makes an appearance (which completely freaked me out). So for me there was this fun sense of connection with a place I know intimately–and thus, with the writer herself.
I’d happily read a novel, if Black publishes one.