Plane Tree Drive by Lynette Washington – book review

Every night, I curl up in bed with my book of the moment and read until my eyes droop and I shut them ‘just for a moment’ … and then wake up with a jump. Lately my reading pile has been filled with books of or about fairy tales and folklore, with a few exceptions, which often serve to inject a reality hit. Like Plane Tree Drive by Lynette Washington.

Here’s the blurb:

Jennifer lives shrouded in secrets on Plane Tree Drive, stuck in regret that is destroying her marriage. Alice watches on as her husband finally gives up his addictions – and his family in the process. Faraj, haunted by memories from Afghanistan, slips into homelessness yet again. Meanwhile, Maurice rediscovers his mojo and brings the whole of the Drive together at his backyard gigs.

Peer through the windows and doors on Plane Tree Drive to find a streetscape that is diverse, heartbreaking, funny and strange, where the loneliness of domestic isolation and the joy of connection weave together to form an interlaced map of suburban life.

This excellent collection of interconnected short stories featuring the residents of Plane Tree Drive is a short but compelling read, with the reader a fly-on-the-wall in the lives and houses of the many characters. Some stories are startling, others poignant and tender, but all are painted with vivid description and the keen insight that comes from being a people watcher. Washington has a talent for voice, turning from playful to serious and introspective in the turning of a page, revealing not only terrific writing, but a sense of community and connected-ness that draws the stories together. I enjoyed this and look forward to more from Washington – she’s a talent to watch for.

Monique Mulligan
For more of Monique Mulligan’s writing on books, check out Write Note Reviews

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