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Necessary Women and The Mean Time (Short Stories)

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Two criminally good digital short stories in one from the No.1 bestselling author of the Will Trent series. Necessary Women: She was fourteen when she watched mother die. With her mother gone, her father told her she had to be the woman of the house. And then he went away for six months. Now she’s got a surprise for him... The Mean Time: It’s a hot summer’s day and twelve-ye Two criminally good digital short stories in one from the No.1 bestselling author of the Will Trent series. Necessary Women: She was fourteen when she watched mother die. With her mother gone, her father told her she had to be the woman of the house. And then he went away for six months. Now she’s got a surprise for him... The Mean Time: It’s a hot summer’s day and twelve-year-old Peanut and her cousins are being driven into town on the back of a trailer drawn by Uncle Toby in his tractor. It’s Peanut’s ‘mean time’ age and she’s about to do something she’ll regret…


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Two criminally good digital short stories in one from the No.1 bestselling author of the Will Trent series. Necessary Women: She was fourteen when she watched mother die. With her mother gone, her father told her she had to be the woman of the house. And then he went away for six months. Now she’s got a surprise for him... The Mean Time: It’s a hot summer’s day and twelve-ye Two criminally good digital short stories in one from the No.1 bestselling author of the Will Trent series. Necessary Women: She was fourteen when she watched mother die. With her mother gone, her father told her she had to be the woman of the house. And then he went away for six months. Now she’s got a surprise for him... The Mean Time: It’s a hot summer’s day and twelve-year-old Peanut and her cousins are being driven into town on the back of a trailer drawn by Uncle Toby in his tractor. It’s Peanut’s ‘mean time’ age and she’s about to do something she’ll regret…

30 review for Necessary Women and The Mean Time (Short Stories)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katherine "Kj" Joslin

    Seriously, I love Karin Slaughter. She has a way of writing that is SO STINKING CREEPY. Two excellent short stories!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish)

    Necessary Women: The Very Epitome of Why Brain Bleach Should Be Real That's a lot of angry tags for such a short book. (Just Necessary Women as a stand alone audiobook.)    Damn train wrecky accident. I accidentally hit the "borrow" button when I was looking at this book instead of adding it to my list so I could look into it later. So, because it took up one of my borrow slots for the month I listened to it. It's 20 minutes, what's the worst that could happen?    Welp.   Graphic enough incest, cannib Necessary Women: The Very Epitome of Why Brain Bleach Should Be Real That's a lot of angry tags for such a short book. (Just Necessary Women as a stand alone audiobook.)    Damn train wrecky accident. I accidentally hit the "borrow" button when I was looking at this book instead of adding it to my list so I could look into it later. So, because it took up one of my borrow slots for the month I listened to it. It's 20 minutes, what's the worst that could happen?    Welp.   Graphic enough incest, cannibalism, and an unsurprisingly fucked in the head little girl.  [spoiler] [EXTRA SPOILER YOU SHOULD REALLY NOT READ] . . . who murders her mother for having sex with her father because he promised her they weren't anymore and she was his only but she saw her father performing cunnilingus on her mother so little girl cut off her mother's genitals and fed it to her father unbeknownst to him. Now, months after the mother's disappearance father has found another woman—which he tells little girl while she is giving him head—whom little girl wants brought to dinner on Sunday . . .[told you not to read] [/spoiler]   Enough said.   Seriously, fuck everything. I need to take another shower.     

  3. 5 out of 5

    Beth (bibliobeth)

    Necessary Women - the full five stars! Here's my review: On reading the short synopsis of this story I was instantly intrigued (plus Karin Slaughter is one of my favourite thriller writers) and looked forward to diving right in. Now, I am quite familiar with the author's writing style and suspected that this tale might have something of the macabre about it but oh my goodness, she still managed to shock me. I'm very wary of giving too much away about Necessary Women so I'll try and keep this revi Necessary Women - the full five stars! Here's my review: On reading the short synopsis of this story I was instantly intrigued (plus Karin Slaughter is one of my favourite thriller writers) and looked forward to diving right in. Now, I am quite familiar with the author's writing style and suspected that this tale might have something of the macabre about it but oh my goodness, she still managed to shock me. I'm very wary of giving too much away about Necessary Women so I'll try and keep this review as short and spoiler-free as possible. The main character in this story is a fourteen year old girl whom when we come across her is watching her mother die in one of the most gritty and explosive openings in all of Slaughter's work: "I was fourteen years old when I watched my mama die. Her pale skin turned pasty as she clutched her throat, blood seeping through her fingers like she was squeezing a sponge instead of trying to hold onto her life." The reader is then taken back in time and shown the girl's life with Mama before her untimely death. They are not happy, the girl freely admits this but they try their best. Her father is a long hauler and is often working away for sometimes months at a time so they are often left to manage on their own. Before long, it is obvious to the reader that Mama is not happy in her marriage and she begs her daughter not to end up like her although it might be a bit too late for the sex education talk as our narrator is already pregnant. When her mother passes away her father tells her that she has to take over as the "woman of the house," and must do all the jobs necessary for a woman to do (hence the title). Our narrator is not very good at looking after herself and is often hungry but makes sure that she puts on a good spread whenever her father is due home. She ends up giving up school and gives birth to a baby "with one arm and a knob where a left foot should have been." The cord is wrapped around the baby's neck and she buries her in the garden, begging God to allow her into heaven. That's all I'm going to say about the plot as I think this story is best experienced by actually reading it yourself. It is definitely all those good things a short story should be - thrilling and unputdownable with twists on multiple levels and Karin Slaughter's trademark horrific imaginings. This was another one of those stories that I immediately went back to the beginning and started again to find out what I had missed (and also because of those last few lines which led to a shriek of "What?!" from yours truly). It was so surprising and so shocking that it completely reminded me why I'm a fan of this author. She accomplishes everything a good short story writer should in just a few pages and I'm sure like me as soon as you read this you'll also be shaking your head in awe of her writing. The Mean Time - four stars! As regular readers of my blog may already know, I'm a big fan of Karin Slaughter's novels but I'm definitely starting to enjoy her short fiction just as much. The two stories in this bundle I bought for my Kindle are as different as night and day and after the brutality that was Necessary Women, I was expecting more of the same when it came round to reading The Mean Time. Perhaps it is the way the author begins the story - our heroine, Peanuts, is in a truck connected to our Uncle Toby's tractor with her cousins and he is taking them all to the local shop to get some sweets. Before her current age of twelve, Peanuts always assumed that her uncle enjoyed playing with the kids and it is only become apparent that he is "mentally slow," something that is a huge deal for her at an age when even the slightest difference can make a huge difference to how she is perceived by others. Peanuts is already having quite a hard time comparing her life to that of her cousins (her father's family) who are clearly poor but work hard (usually physically) for every penny of their money. She admits that her and her sisters have never wanted for anything as their father never wished for them to have as poor an upbringing as he himself had so they are quite literally spoilt rotten. Visiting their poorer relations who can't understand why her father would want to make more money than that required to live on and who seem to have a different notion of what hard work actually is is an eye-opener for her as she gets older and notices/desires the opinions of others a lot more. The author describes Uncle Toby's mouth as having a tooth missing which could lead to him having a somewhat "sinister," appearance to those who did not know him. Immediately I thought I was going to be taken down this dark and twisty pathway Karin Slaughter does so well and with the previous story still very fresh in my memory, I don't think you could blame me! However, this was categorically NOT the case and the story that unravelled was quite different. The climax is an altercation in the shop between Peanuts and Uncle Toby that she bitterly regrets as soon as it has happens but unfortunately can never take it back. The following quote, which I loved, sums up the story beautifully in better words than I can ever write: "This was a time in my life when I keenly searched for disapproval or agreement in the eyes of strangers. I was halfway into my twelfth year, a walking box of hate and hormones. This was my mean time, and the approval of someone who did not know me mattered much more than the opinions of those who knew me best." The Mean Time stands on its own as a great piece of short fiction and perhaps I shouldn't compare it too much to the story it was bunched with. Both are brilliant in very different ways and I believe it shows the versatility of Karin Slaughter as an author perfectly. This narrative took me right back to my own adolescence when I desperately needed the approval of others and said/did things I instantly regretted. The author managed to capture the essence of what it is to be a teenage girl wonderfully and although I was slightly surprised by the ending I now think it bitter-sweet and simply how it should have been. I'm hoping that even though it is a slight departure from the fiction the author usually writes, fans will enjoy it just as much. For more reviews please visit my blog at http://www.bibliobeth.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Rose

    I'm sometimes a tad cynical about these e-shorts, because they very often are pointless exercises to promote a bigger novel. However, Karin Slaughter, like Stephen King has something of a knack for this format. I'm sometimes a tad cynical about these e-shorts, because they very often are pointless exercises to promote a bigger novel. However, Karin Slaughter, like Stephen King has something of a knack for this format.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    This was a very strange offering from Karin Slaughter and not up to her usual standards. The first story, "Necessary Women" was a very dark affair with a shocking twist at the end. The second story, "The Mean Time" had no plot whatsoever and left me feeling a bit cheated. This was a very strange offering from Karin Slaughter and not up to her usual standards. The first story, "Necessary Women" was a very dark affair with a shocking twist at the end. The second story, "The Mean Time" had no plot whatsoever and left me feeling a bit cheated.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kieran McAndrew

    Two very different short stories from Karin Slaughter, both readable for completely different reasons. "Necessary Women" is a story which could break your heart about domestic violence and "The Mean Time" is a short sketch of bitterness and difference. Two very different short stories from Karin Slaughter, both readable for completely different reasons. "Necessary Women" is a story which could break your heart about domestic violence and "The Mean Time" is a short sketch of bitterness and difference.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cherylcali "turn the page"

    Love this author. This book has some content that is hard to take. It's really short story. Probably the only book by Karin that I have disliked but, I still powered through. Love this author. This book has some content that is hard to take. It's really short story. Probably the only book by Karin that I have disliked but, I still powered through.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    The best part is the very last line.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marc Ely-harris

    Necessary Women had a really good twist but was a bit disappointed with The Mean Time which is a shame as I usually love all Karin's books. Necessary Women had a really good twist but was a bit disappointed with The Mean Time which is a shame as I usually love all Karin's books.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    It’s a hot summer’s day and twelve-year-old Peanut and her cousins are being driven into town on the back of a trailer drawn by Uncle Toby in his tractor.

  11. 4 out of 5

    DANIELLE

    I did NOT expect either of the books to go in those directions!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leonie Hinch

    Necessary Women reminded me a lot of Thorn in My Side another Karin Slaughter short story. Like all her short stories it was very creepy and left on a bit of a cliffhanger. What made the story exceptional was the twist in that you have no idea what is going on really until the end. Very intriguing read. The Mean Time I didn't enjoy quite as much. There didn't seem to be much point to the story beyond a sort of a moral but there was none of the creepiness or unease created in Necessary Women or m Necessary Women reminded me a lot of Thorn in My Side another Karin Slaughter short story. Like all her short stories it was very creepy and left on a bit of a cliffhanger. What made the story exceptional was the twist in that you have no idea what is going on really until the end. Very intriguing read. The Mean Time I didn't enjoy quite as much. There didn't seem to be much point to the story beyond a sort of a moral but there was none of the creepiness or unease created in Necessary Women or maybe If there was I just didn't get it?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Monica Oldenburg-Crans

    Neccesary women: What a fabulous story. Chillin to the bone. I was listening to it on the bus and gasped a couple of times. People were looking at me. LOL.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Calvin Adrien

    Got an audio version of the book. It was very good, but dark. Not for everyone or people who are easily "triggered" by anything related to sexual abuse, domestic abuse, etc. Got an audio version of the book. It was very good, but dark. Not for everyone or people who are easily "triggered" by anything related to sexual abuse, domestic abuse, etc.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

    Not even sure what possessed Karin Slaughter to write these two short stories. Not even going to count it towards my 2016 Reading Challenge!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chrys Matthews

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mrs L Gartshore

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Hedges

  20. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angela

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jill Vase

  24. 4 out of 5

    V.A. Parten

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kim Wright

  26. 5 out of 5

    Angie Baby

  27. 5 out of 5

    Siv Irene

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sue Brady

  29. 4 out of 5

    kay niblo

  30. 5 out of 5

    ann amos

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