‘A captured moth, the memory holds
Releasing as the wings unfold…
Then let it free, we need not fear
Such other worlds exist, it’s clear’
( Excerpt from Another Time, a poem by Adrienne Vaughan)
Fur Coat & No Knickers is a collection of short stories and poetry from Irish Writer Adrienne Vaughan published in 2016.
When I first heard the name of Adrienne Vaughan’s book I was quite intrigued to see what was behind the very glossy cover. What could I expect? A little treasure trove of a collection or, as the name implies, all shiny on the outside but not so underneath.
This is a diverse mix of twelve short stories and sixteen poems, all written at different times in Adrienne Vaughan’s life, with the first recorded in the eighties and the most recent in 2016.
I make no secret of the fact that a short story collection is not the type of book I would normally pick up, yet I don’t know why. There is something quite tantalising about dipping your toes into snippets of peoples lives. As the writer has limited words to convey a story, it really is left up to the reader to imagine what happened next.
Adrienne Vaughan tells us she is inspired by PG Wodehouse and this influence is felt when reading through this collection, particularly in the title story Fur Coat & No Knickers. The conversations had, the impressions given, the touches of humour all allude to another era, another time
‘I’d never been particularly fond of Celia. She was bossy, belligerent and at times solidly boring.…’
But this is not just a collection of stories.
Intermittently dispersed throughout is a little treasure trove of poems. For me personally, i loved this idea. It provided a great variety while reading through the pages, never knowing what was coming next.
As this collection is well indexed it’s very easy to jump between the pages wherever your mood takes you, I have found myself picking up the book after finishing it and re-reading a line in a poem, an opener of a story but for me personally, one poem really grabbed my attention ‘Friends in Graveyards’ and I’m sure Adrienne won’t mind if I post a verse here
‘The more friends in graveyards the better,
If you catch my meaning.
Plenty to see on the other side.
Plenty waiting to greet me.
The more the merrier, there’ll be a hell of a hooley
If you pardon the pun
And I shall look forward to it
It’s the only way’
Finally, can I just say, that this the perfect handbag book for all you folk who like to dip into a quick read while in a cafe, waiting on a train or just sitting on a park bench on a sunny day.
Adrienne Vaughan has captured a little something special in this book. I know I will occasionally be found immersing myself in a gentle word or verse and I really do encourage you to take a look behind the cover!!