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Reviews by Hnery Ratliff

From a Bench in Our Square

by Samuel Hopkins Adams

Stories told from a park bench in a square in New York in the early 1900's.

# A Patroness of Art
o Young rich girl takes on an artist as a patron.
o She thinks he is poor and is sure only she can make a success of him.
o He is rich and famous under a name she does not know.
o Circumstances continue to enforce the girl's beliefs and make it harder for him.

# The House of Silvery Voices
o Story of an old clock maker and his dog.
o The old man is waiting to join his departed wife.
o His rather unusual dog, is also waiting to join his mistress.
o The people in the square are trying to put up with the too random Silvery voices of his clocks.

# Home-Seekers' Goal
o A young girl is looking for a house.
o A young man is looking for a house.
o They pool their efforts, but only one can have the house they might find.
o An ill-thought pact, gets worse.

# The Guardian of God's Acre
o You must contend with the Church Sextant for the burial of the woman you loved. {o] He is against her burial in God's Acre, on moral grounds.
o He asks for a sign, you give him one.

# For Mayme, Read Mary
o A girl from the slums.
o A boy from the right side of the tracks.
o The girl went off for her health and found fame.
o The boy went off to war and found himself.

# Barbran
o A woman wants to start a coffee shop in the town.
o The town and especially one young man tries to help.
o Misconceived strategies makes things worse.

# Plooie of Our Square
o A strange name, a strange man, or maybe a misunderstood man.
o WW I, comes to the square and every man is judged by his allegiance to his country.
o As young men enlist in the armed forces, some bask in the glory of uniform and pomp, while others make an effort and hide there disappointment and shame privately.

# Triumph
o A man must face a slow, but too soon, death.
o He has money but no time.
o A young, misused girl is looking for death.
o She has time, but no money.
o What a time for love to be revealed.
o A tragedy, no a triumph, for the dying and the living.
o From the story:
'Ah, long-delayed to-morrow! Hearts that beat Measure the length of every moment gone. Ever the suns rise tardily or fleet And light the letters on a churchyard stone.-- And still I say, 'To-morrow we shall meet!'
May Probyn,

Reviewed on 2011.07.27

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Elin Barnes has done many different things in her life, like being a flight instructor, working for a criminal appeals lawyer and working for many big name technology companies in Silicon Valley (Microsoft, Google etc.). But the one thing that she never thought would actually happen is to write (and finish) a book. Her debut novel, Justification for Murder, has, in the meantime, earned rave reviews and grown into a series. As our author of the day, Barnes reveals why she picked Silicon Valley as the backdrop, her inspiration behind writing a biomedical thriller and how she went for ride-alongs with the San Jose Police Department.
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