Monica McInerney’s obsessions include family, memory, and love...in short, the great universal themes. Performed by Catherine Milte in a slightly smoky Australian accent that works very well for these tales of mostly mature women, All Together Now is a collection of short pieces published elsewhere over a 10-year period. The collection includes one story featuring Lola, a character McInerney fans will recognize from The Alphabet Sisters and Lola’s Secret, and one novella called "Odd One Out", about a woman on a treasure hunt in Melbourne.
I am not one for short stories usually but I have to admit I did enjoy this. I was away on safari in Africa and I discovered that I had selected short stories. Oh no, at first I thought but I am glad I persisted and gave it a go because I found the stories entertaining in the usual Monica McInerney manner. Particulary good if you have interruptions, they were easy to pick up again and held my interest.
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This book, narrated by Catherine Milte, was enjoyable enough, well read, but mediocre. Fine for listening to while doing mundane tasks like the laundry, but sadly, it really didn't do anything more to grab my attention.
It comprised a number of short stories and one novella, two of which were original to the book but the remainder of which had been previously published elsewhere.
Of these, my favourite was the first, Hippy Hippy Shake, a short comment on radical clothing fads, with a clever twist at the end. The other one that stuck with me was Sweet Charity, centring around another dressing disaster, Lola, the outrageously clad granny who runs a charity shop, and her sense of justice.
Unfortunately, not a collection to get excited about.