Far to Go and Much to Know
by Helena Edwards Bishop Lulu

"Narcissus on a hill,
Blue Crocus, white snowdrops, and yellow daffodil.
Cherry blossoms appear, only to fall;
Awakening buds, leaves, ascending ivy-shrouded wall."

The verse above is from Bishop's poem, 'The Coming of Spring,' one of the many present in her book of poetry and short stories. The author originates from Guyana, South America, and she presently lives in England. A majority of her stories take place in South American villages, depicting joys, strife, and everyday living of its inhabitants. Everyday human foibles dominate her work, and it portrays things that humans struggle with—desire, wisdom, anger, cunning, freedom, betrayal, and others. Some stories are funny and side-splitting, while others make the readers shake their head and nod in understanding that they, too, have experienced a similar situation.

Particularly of note are 'Escape to Brazil,' where a troupe of girls from the World Health Organization kick up their heels in the highlands of Guyana; 'Communion Sunday,' where a child wishes to taste consecrated wine to be had in the village church, but the priest prohibits it; and 'Wreck of the Walney,' where a ship captain's oversight causes a serious collision with another passing ship.

Bishop's characters and stories are colorful, multi-dimensional, and relatable. The native words and phrases used in her work lend the book an authentic feel and transport the reader straight to the village in Guyana, although this writer seems to have her own rules for punctuation which slow down the flow of the stories. A fun, relaxing read.

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