Appealing Tales of Struggle & Abuse in Suburban America
An Accidental Murder and Other Stories is a collection of connected short stories about navigating through trauma and overcoming life’s most challenging circumstances. Friends, wives, teenagers, and children struggle with abuse, loss, and self-esteem as they fight to maintain their dignity and exercise control over their lives.
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A Synopsis OF THE TITLE STORY AN ACCIDENTAL MURDER
Margie had just hung up the phone from what she thought would be a pleasant call to her mother. It didn’t go quite as she planned. Her mother told her that her sister Donna had just left her house fighting mad and she was on her way over to give Margie a piece of her mind. Her mother told her to try and be the peacemaker and to remember what Donna had gone through and that she just wasn’t right in her mind, ever since those beatings. This was always the excuse her mother made for Donna’s bad behavior. Margie told herself, “Who does Donna think she is, always telling me what to do. We’re not kids anymore.”
Margie heard the car screech to a stop in front of her rental on the first floor of a house she had recently moved into. She lived there with her husband, whom she planned on leaving. Margie opened the door and watched as her sister Donna stormed out of the car in a fury, slamming the door so hard that the papers on the dashboard flew into the air and fell to the floor. Donna rushed towards Margie screaming something about their mother. Margie was so used to her sister’s rants that her words rolled off her back. Margie’s embarrassment about her sister’s behavior began a long time ago; she tried to manage it as best as she could. By now the neighbors on the street were watching the scene with outstretched necks. Mrs. Costa, who owned the house and lived upstairs with Mr. Costa, opened the window and stuck her head out to make sure she didn’t miss anything. Margie heard Mr. Costa yell to his wife to get back into the house; the window shut, Mrs. Costa disappeared.
Praise For An Accidental Murder and Other Stories
"The characters in "The Little Black Box" are all solid and compelling... The husband... is a good supporting character with some strong idiosyncrasies, an ongoing hook for readers... wonderful descriptive passages in Blind-Sighted- very good visuals of people and place. The characters are all well-drawn and... seem realistic in the story. The dialogue sounds natural and unique... real conversation between real people ... readers will be easily drawn into the story."
-- Mike Foley, Writer's Review
"With generally spare, visual language, Diana Grillo's stories depict simple circumscribed lives that belie the complicated pain and anger that fester underneath. The characters and their environments depict the power struggles and shifts that occur over time in families; the feelings of entrapment; and the streetwise survival skills that sometimes allow for freedom...The "tear" examined under a microscope aptly describes the totality of this very special collection."
-- Ginger E. Benlifer, Ph.D., Psychologist
...The challenge of a good short story is the ability to convey complicated ideas and feelings to the reader in a limited amount of pages. Diana Grillo, author of An Accidental Murder and Other Stories, manages to easily draw sympathy from readers for her struggling characters, diving straight into the troubled heart of a variety of family conflicts. These short stories take readers to uncomfortable and tragic places, often focusing on domestic turmoil in the 1960s, a turbulent time of war and social inequality.
While public friction in the community continued to spike with the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War, domestic violence festered behind closed doors, an issue more private but perniciously present in many households. Giving amplified voice to all the victims of this gross injustice, Grillo tackles the challenging topics of physical abuse, emotional manipulation, adultery and poverty powerfully in her debut collection...