By Evelyn C. McDonald
Arts & Culture Reporter
December 14, 2021

Fishing For Love from local writer, Linda Guecia, is a collection of stories linked by place and characters.  It is set in Fernandina Beach and there are some references that will immediately make you think of local sites.  The stories vary in plot but all focus on love in its various forms.

You don’t have to start at the beginning and read through to the end as you would a novel.  Instead, you can pick any story in any order.  Our island is the backdrop but Linda has done some interesting things with it.  Some of the names of places and people are funny twists on real names and places.  Among Linda’s characters are the birds, fish, and animals we have around us.  A sea turtle is the interlude between the stories as it moves through the cycle of life.

I’ve come to realize that if I see a movie after reading the book it’s based on, the movie becomes my image of the book.  I hadn’t thought about whether hearing a book would have the same effect.  I had a chance to find out last Sunday at Story & Song where Linda was doing a book signing.  Authors generally read part of their works at a signing but she had arranged for Doug McDowell and Martha McDowell to read two of her stories.  The stories came to life in a way I hadn’t expected.

Reading a book, you put your own spin on its meaning.  Hearing it, the spin may be the same or different in ways you hadn’t considered.  I hadn’t read the stories before so I was curious if I would have a different take on the words.  In reading the story afterwards, I realized that hearing it had enlivened it.

It’s a tribute to the author that some of her descriptions use phrases we’ve all heard before but they fit so well and they blend with new descriptive language.  I haven’t read all the stories but the ones I did read have been appealing.  They have been what you might call light reading, feel good stories.  No angst, no drama but not a Pollyanna approach.  There is sadness, there is loss but there is also humor and hope.

The book is available at Story & Song as well as other outlets.  It offers a good world to step into and discover its stories.

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