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The Way Things Are Out Here by Michelle Lawson

Form: Short Stories

Publisher: Medlar Tree Press

Pub Date: 16th November 2020

Review Date: 25th May 2021


Five modern travel tales. Five emotional journeys.

From obsession with a stranger on Instagram, to the sexual dynamics on a coach holiday, the characters in these stories are all driven by a desire to belong when they find themselves in unfamiliar places. Some seek friendship, some romance. Others are following the dream of a new life abroad.

Join them in France, Germany and the Carpathians as they discover the way things really are out there.

My Review

The Way Things Are Out Here is a wonderfully written collection of short stories that explores themes of travel, diaspora, and alienation in an unfamiliar world. The author’s skillful characterisation and sense of setting in these third-person narratives offer a real sense of time and place, transporting readers to another world – just the thing many people could do with right now!

I really enjoyed reading each and every one of these diverse stories, and would recommend for fans of Jhumpa Lahiri and Ali Smith.

About the Author

Michelle is an English writer whose interest in how place can be a portal to understanding ourselves permeates all of her work. More information, articles and free fiction can be found at Or follow on Twitter at @MichelleL_Dr Michelle's fiction career has been inspired by her observations of people and place. Themes of manipulation and vulnerability, and the difficulty of separating a dream from reality, inspired her debut novel, The Wicked Game, set in the intriguing city of Kathmandu. Michelle's non-fiction writing is inspired by an interest in migration, the search for a new life abroad and the gaps left by family secrets. An academic study of British incomers in the French Pyrenees became a stepping stone to a trade publication travel narrative: A House at the End of the Track. When Michelle isn't writing, she could be teaching Applied Linguistics, or halfway up a Pyrenean mountain, or even riding a tram in Central Europe

Thank you to the author for a Review Copy of this book.


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