My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Barbara Venkataraman‘s If You’d Just Listened to Me in the First Place… is a wonderful short story that you should absolutely read as an introduction to this author and her literary style. I first read a few of her mystery novellas (the “Jamie Quinn” series) and found myself intrigued and laughing over their conversational tone and engaging prose. But when I learned of these other fiction works, I quickly wanted to dive in for a read — especially when the author has been extremely friendly and charismatic across a few social media platforms.
In this story, Ella provides little snippets of her relationship with a man named Charlie (not giving away any spoilers!) and various short-term jobs that very few of us would ever want to hold. She’s funny, charming and someone you would enjoy talking to — especially when the narrator crosses that invisible line and talks directly to the person who is reading her words (another spoiler, you should just go read it to see what I mean). It’s a great opportunity to take a break from reality for 20 to 30 minutes and see the world from someone else’s perspective. So give her a chance.
I have a few others she’s written on my list but I am purposely saving them for that day when I need a little pick-me-up. Kudos!