Cover Image: Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers

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Member Reviews

Overall I enjoyed the stories in this book. Even though they are short stories they are connected by the main character, A lawyer who is a single Mom raising her son and dealing with a troublesome ex, who is also a lawyer. Since the stories are connected I would have preferred it of they were in chronological order. There is some time line jumping which can be confusing, esp before and after the divorce. The stories mostly deal with the difficulties she faces, trying to raise her son, deal with difficult clients and her ex husband. Like any collection some stories are better than others. Enjoy

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This was an interesting but not consistently engaging collection of linked short stories, obviously informed by the author’s professional life as a Toronto litigation lawyer. The narratives aren’t presented chronologically—I’m not sure why—so I felt tossed about trying to get my bearings a good deal of the time. Add to this the fact that there’s a fair bit of legal jargon, insufficient detail about some of the cases, and occasional elliptical passages I couldn’t make sense of.

Throughout the collection, the central dilemma of the protagonist, Francesca, is raising her son as a single mother all while trying to meet the significant demands of her profession. The main character’s litigation work requires her to abandon some of her core values and ideals. She must take cases to serve the rich and greedy in order to put food on the table. Though there are a couple of stories that address her failed marriage to another lawyer, who’s ultimately shamefully disbarred, most of the pieces focus on her post-divorce experiences. However, the marriage can never entirely be left behind, not only because there’s a child, but also because Francesca is relentlessly pursued by her bankrupt ex’s creditors.

Most of us know the law doesn’t deliver justice and that lawyers aren’t really interested in getting at the “truth”—should it even exist—so the book delivers no surprises on that front. What is underscored is how difficult it is to get the facts from clients and how messy human lives are—including the lives of those who work to get others out of legal trouble.

Rating: 3.5 rounded down

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