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Pretend to Read This Book to Avoid Talking to Strangers

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These stories include beautiful prose as well as some verse, and a perspective that is both truthful, cynical, and gorgeous

Bailey described in one of her own stories exactly how I felt throughout most of this collection: "that's it! That's how it feels!" And yet just a bit farther down the page, did it again: "...even if I tried, I couldn't put you into words." In the very same story, she examines the impossibility of authenticity in art forms, so I hesitate to describe her writing in that way. But as she also points out elsewhere, "Words were not invented so we can articulate our feelings..." So I am forced to settle with "authentic" to describe the way her writing made me feel. It was the way she confronted the impossibility of describing the wonders, woes, and contradictions of the world that really struck me.


All of the stories were beautifully written, which was extremely fitting for the continuous theme of love throughout. The beauty with which she described the earth and love for it really made me stop to savor them, as did her lovely and heart-touchingly accurate descriptions of human joys and struggles. She had an artful way of interpreting the environment around her characters to reflect their feelings that also awed me.


Part of the beauty of Bailey's writing was the way she confronted sad or otherwise difficult emotions with the same tender and descriptive style. In writing loving, happy relationships she still included tension and the other challenges, but from a perspective that seems in love with every facet of life. This same appreciation was granted liberally throughout the book, in a writing style I could fall in love with and that convinced me to love life as it is too.


I would genuinely recommend this book to everyone because I think it's told in such a truthful and gorgeous voice. I think many will connect with Bailey and her characters' articulations of intense emotions.

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I fell in love with reading when I was eight years old, and after that it was hard to get my nose out of a book. I review a variety of genres, but gravitate most towards historical fiction. Nothing beats the excitement of a new adventure, and I love connecting others with theirs!

dizzy & wires

About the author

Cassie is a neurodivergent writer whose head is also full of ideas, but can't get her brain to play ball when she sits down to type. At 27, she quit her life in London to work abroad, with mixed success. Her hobbies include wearing pyjamas all day long and eating potatoes. view profile

Published on October 01, 2021

Published by

20000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Literary Fiction

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