(5 / 5)
In Enough! Thirty Stories of Fielding Life’s Little Curve Balls, Caroline Taylor has compiled some of the best of her short stories into one captivating, memorable volume. The majority of the stories are explorations in alignment—Do I choose to align with what others demand of me or with my own desires, my own truth? What are the consequences of living a life that lacks integrity? What happens when I only go halfway? Some of the characters are quietly strong and defiant, as are the ones in Alley Cat, Departure, and the eponymous opening story, Enough! In ways both subtle and blatant, they define for themselves what is acceptable, and what will not be tolerated. In others, such as The Business of Business, Briar Patch, and Maude’s Makeover, they take full advantage of the opportunities they’ve created for themselves: all desperately, one maliciously. And then there are the narratives of Noise, Bonnie, and Plain Vanilla. The people in these stories have made their proverbial beds and now have to decide whether or not they want to lie in them. It may or may not be too late for them to change their minds.
Taylor’s execution of stories that cross gender, age, time, and space (literally) is skillful and imaginative. Her characters’ vivid inner lives are what give their external actions such depth of meaning. She has a particular talent for conveying the tension and unease that exists within a person when wrestling with the idea of taking a step (or three) outside one’s comfort zone. Combine that with occasional wry humor (Rules for the Company Picnic, for example), and you’ve got a superb, thoughtful, and thought-provoking read. While many of her characters are learning how to say “Enough!” in their own lives, Caroline Taylor’s Enough! will make you want to say “More!”