Helen Dunmore

My Polish Teacher’s Tie

Lilac

You Stayed Awake with Me

The Fag

Leonardo, Michelangelo, Superstork

All taken from Ice Cream, published 2000.

Best known for her novels, I was keen to read this collection and so far haven’t been disappointed.  My Polish Teacher’s tie seemed particularly relevant to the here and now, and Leonardo, Michelangelo, Superstork seemed scarily possible.  The writing itself is multilayered – with plot, theme and what I’m calling the ‘click moment’ cleverly combined so you don’t realise how sophisticated the structure is until the end. The tick moment is the point at which as a reader, I feel the writer has nailed it and I get that satisfying feeling of all the different elements of the story slotting into place.  I’d be interested to know if Dunmore had planned it from the start, or whether it emerged as she wrote.