Winners and Losers (Tales of Life, Law, Love and Loss) is Darlene Madott’s voice at “its richest and wisest.” She has authored nine books. This, her most recent linked short-story collection, grows out of over three decades of practice in the trenches of matrimonial misery – with sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad, but always insightful and human truth-telling.
This collection tracks the journey of a woman protagonist working a man’s world, learning to ride the monster’s back, from beginning to end – surviving and thriving against all odds – through to her ultimate surrender.
Some of the stories will make you laugh, as in “Newton’s Third Law” – a tale of sparring spouses auguring down in a tit-for-tat action and reaction. “Lawyer by Day, Yenta by Night,” is about a matchmaking of unlikely lovers who crackle like firecrackers and end in a fizzle with a twist.
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Do you have a favourite story, Darlene?
I love all my children – “Sins of the Father,” “Toilet Bowl Blues,” “The Question.” …But I have a special tenderness for “Pasta With The Priests.” In the confession at the heart of this story, my protagonist Francesca gets to acknowledge her two deepest sins. Through confronting the abuser and betrayer, without and within, and the redemptive power of love, she gets another chance to sing with her own true voice. It’s now or never – the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.