Emma Donoghue's Astray is an intriguing collection based on true stories. After each fictional tale, Donoghue cites her research, whether it's a news article that caught her eye or a chapter in a history book.
From the book cover - A trainer coaxes his beloved elephant onto a ship carrying him to a life of fame. A mother searches for her baby girl, sent away on a train headed west. A teenage soldier wrestles with his conscience far from home. All have gone astray.
Astray guides us through a past in scattered pieces, a moving history for restless times.
Donoghue brings to life interesting characters and brings history alive with her imagination based on fact. I loved her book Room, and like that book, she can paint a scene and draw in the reader.
I liked what she wrote in her Astray Afterword - Writing stories is my way of scratching that itch: my escape from the claustrophobia of individuality. It lets me, at least for awhile, live more than one life, walk more than one path. Reading of course, can do the same. May the road rise with you.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.