As I sat in my Intro to Creative Writing class last semester, I had no doubt that the stunning debut of Emma Duffy-Comparone’s writing would be anything less than extraordinary.
Emma Duffy-Comparone is an Assistant Professor of English here at Merrimack College who recently released her first book of short stories, Love Like That. There was no doubt in my mind that I needed to pre-order and read it immediately.
I’ve never read a fictional short story series before, so I was eager to do so. I was also eager to examine her work and have a learning experience outside of the classroom. I started reading the minute my Amazon package arrived.
While examining her tender language and catching myself smirking at her character’s witty remarks, I could hear Emma’s voice and personality beam off the pages with each sentence she wrote. It’s not every day you can truly hear the author’s voice and see their expression as you read their writing.
My initial reaction to the stories was that I needed more of each of them as they came to an end. The vulnerable nature and depth each story held was able to captivate me in what seemed to be a fraction of a second when reading. Each story, although different in plot and different in tone, seamlessly orchestrated together the different types of love we can have in its purest of forms like a love you may have for a family member in its unconditional nature. Or a love you may not know the difference, good or bad, even if it hits you between the eyes. Even a love that emits itself from pain, but may be essential to a relationship. A love that is selfless and raw.
For me personally, I was most star-struck by two of the books’ stories, “Marvel Sands” and “The Package Deal.” I read them both twice just to be satisfied.
Overall, getting to know Emma’s personality and wit through class discussions and lectures was a gift. Her thoughtful, charismatic language and tone is transferred onto the pages with the same aura she brings to class each day. Even within the first few pages of the book, I could hear her remarks and I could feel her presence, which is a reading experience I am thankful to have had.
If you are someone who is looking for a humoured and sensual read, then the stories in Love Like That should be in your next fictional pursuit.