A Review of   Stories from a Lifetime
Hugh Aaron's Stories from a Lifetime is an intriguing collection that Aaron describes as a "disguised autobiography spanning eight decades" of his life. This is a riveting book encompassing the peaks and valleys of the author's fascinating life. In fact, each short story is like a puzzle piece unearthing something about Aaron. Although every short story can stand on its own, only after reading all of the short stories is Aaron's self-portrait truly complete. Aaron uses all kinds of characters, from husbands and wives to teachers and servicemen with a purpose—to unveil a little more of his character with each story

The intriguing aspect of this compilation is that even the most "out there" story that may seem odd, has a purpose. Stories from a Lifetime is realistic in every way, portraying life through the eyes of the characters with an "as you see it" approach. Strong messages are being delivered in these short stories. For example, Aaron unmasks the panic, stress, and emotion often felt by even the most successful businessman. No one, it seems, is immune to the gamut of emotions that are all part of being human.

Stories from a Lifetime fascinates on many levels: stories from the point of view of a child, from that of the people in a community brutalized by the Japanese in war, in the struggle of two lovers torn by guilt, in dealing with inexplicable death. That these stories were written at different stages in Aaron's life lends a certain charm. Interesting to notice, too, are the variations in his writing style over time, and are particularly enthralling and will surely reel the reader in.

Aaron truly delivers a stirring message in each of his energy-packed short stories. "An Unusual Day in The Life of George Amen," the opening story in the book, narrates the life of a man performing the same routine so many times that, trance-like he wakes precisely at a certain time each day, goes to work, comes home, and the routine begins again. This short story, however, is about breaking the mold, changing the routine, and, as Aaron puts it, "calling the shots." Comparing his writing style in subsequent stories later on in life truly reflects Aaron's maturation as a writer and person. For example, in "A House is More than a House," the reader will find the author raising the intrigue factor to a whole new level.

Ultimately, the short stories are so varied in content and style that it will appeal to all adults of any age. Aaron is truly innovative in his style and structure, and Stories from a Lifetime speaks to that place in all of us that sees life as a series of episodes—unfolding one decade at a time. This is a must read that will peak the reader's curiosity and keep the pages turning.
Todd Rutherford, Book Reviewer

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