"Crossroads and Byways” is a collection of stories by Judith Lyn Gorham that revolves around the themes of memory and connection. Through a range of characters and narratives, the author explores the idea of journey and the power of the past to shape and inform present experiences. Gorham weaves together a range of perspectives and experiences, creating a tapestry of memories and emotions that feels both universal and deeply personal. The book starts with a poem called “Crossroads and Byways," which beautifully explores the themes of journey, memories, and the future.

The poem establishes a sense of freedom and adventure as the speaker and their companion wander along byways without a fixed destination in mind. As the journey continues, they delve into memories, exploring their origins and discovering new layers of meaning in the experiences they have shared. The writing style is marked by a sense of fluidity and movement, creating a feeling of momentum and progress even as the destination remains uncertain. The image of the sky as a V-shaped space between the pages of a book is particularly striking as it speaks to the idea of the journey as a narrative that is unfolding before us



“Going Home" is a touching and beautifully written short story that takes the reader on an emotional journey of self-discovery and finding solace in unexpected places. The protagonist's journey to find her childhood home, and the memories it holds, is a universal theme that many readers will be able to relate to. The author captures the frustration and disappointment of not recognizing anything, and the despair of feeling lost and alone. The old man who welcomes the protagonist into his home is a wonderfully drawn character whose kindness and understanding, as well as his willingness to listen, provide the protagonist with the solace and comfort she so desperately needs.
“Bernice and Emma” is a poignant and well-crafted story about the friendship of Bernice and Emma. The story artfully weaves in a flashback to their shared past, when they were best friends until the arrival of Theo, a new boy in their class. The story is a powerful examination of how the introduction of a new person can change the dynamics of a friendship, and how jealousy and competition can arise where there was once harmony.
“The Day Words Had No Meaning” is a unique and thought-provoking short story that explores the concept of language and its relationship to identity. The story follows Jay, who wakes up one day without the ability to attach verbal sounds to his thoughts. As the story progresses, Jay realizes that his inability to communicate verbally has stripped him of his identity and sense of self. The story is a powerful reminder of the importance of language in defining who we are and how we relate to the world around us.
In summary, “Crossroads and Byways” is a powerful and evocative collection of stories that speaks to the beauty and wonder of the journey through life. The themes of memory, the future, and the power of the unknown are masterfully woven together through the use of rich and vivid language. Gorham's ability to capture the complexities of human emotion and the power of human connection is truly remarkable. The collection is a must-read for anyone who enjoys thought-provoking and emotional fiction.

About Crab Walking & Other Stories

“Crab Walking and Other Stories” by Judy Gorham is a captivating collection of short stories that explores a range of themes, from love and loss to forgiveness and personal growth. The book features 19 stories that offer readers an opportunity to reflect on their own experiences, emotions, and challenges.

One of the most powerful stories in the collection is “Crab Walking,” which tells the story of a woman who is struggling to come to terms with her recent divorce. The author captures the complexities of emotions that come with separation and the struggle to find one's own identity after years of marriage. The story raises questions about the difficult choices that must be made when faced with a loved one in a coma and the moral and ethical dilemmas that arise when making decisions about organ donation.

“The Travel Companion” is another standout story in the collection. Set in the 1960s, the story explores themes of travel, companionship, and personal growth. It follows the unlikely friendship between two women from different worlds who meet on a train journey to Seattle. The characters are well-developed, and their conversations highlight the contrasts in their personalities and life experiences.


In “The War of the Chicken,” the author takes a humorous and lighthearted approach to describing the battle between herself and a frozen chicken. The story is a welcome break from the more serious themes of the collection and highlights the author's ability to tell a good story.

“Mr. Harvey's Surprising Adventure” is another standout story that explores themes of desire and regret. The story follows a man at the dentist's office who becomes distracted by the dental assistant and hopes for her comfort. The story ends with a twist that leaves the reader questioning the intentions of the characters.

The story “Your Butt” addresses an important issue, the frustration, and distress of seeking medical help while experiencing intense pain. The story highlights the need for medical professionals to listen to patients and provide appropriate care.

Judy Gorham is a talented writer who uses her skills to create stories that are relatable, emotional, and engaging. Her writing style is characterized by clear and concise prose that brings her characters and their experiences to life. She has a unique ability to explore complex themes such as love, loss, and identity through her stories and create a connection with her readers.

The stories in Crab Walking and other stories cover a range of topics and themes, from the challenges of modern parenting to the ethical dilemmas of organ donation. What makes these stories so powerful is that they are relatable to a wide range of readers. They touch on universal experiences and emotions that we all face at some point in our lives, and they do so in a way that is both thought-provoking and entertaining.

One of the strengths of Gorham's writing is her ability to create complex and relatable characters. Each story in Crab Walking and other stories has a unique cast of characters that are well-developed and realistic. Whether it's the divorced Helen in "Crab Walking" or the confused Mr. Harvey in “Mr.Harvey’s surprising adventure," Gorham's characters are people we can all identify with on some level. They are flawed, vulnerable, and human, and it's easy to become invested in their stories.

Gorham's writing also stands out for its emotional depth. She has a keen sense of empathy that allows her to tap into the feelings and experiences of her characters in a way that feels authentic and real. Whether it's the heartbreak of a failed marriage or the joy of a newfound friendship, Gorham's stories are filled with an emotional resonance that lingers long after the story is over.

In addition to the emotional depth of her writing, Gorham is also a master at pacing and structure. Each story in Crab Walking and other stories is crafted with precision and care, and the pacing of each story is spot on. Gorham knows just when to slow down and explore the inner thoughts and emotions of her characters, and when to speed things up and build tension and conflict.

Overall, Crab Walking and other stories is an excellent collection of short stories that highlight the talent of Judy Gorham as a writer. Her ability to create relatable characters, explore complex themes, and evoke powerful emotions is truly remarkable. The stories in this collection are a testament to the power of storytelling and the importance of literature in our lives.

In today's fast-paced world, where we are constantly bombarded with information and distractions, it's easy to lose touch with our emotions and the experiences that make us human. But reading stories like those in Crab Walking and other stories can help us reconnect with ourselves and each other. These stories remind us of the power of empathy and the importance of connection, and they encourage us to take a step back and reflect on the deeper meaning of our lives.

In conclusion, Judy Gorham's Crab Walking and other stories is a wonderful collection of short stories that deserves praise for its emotional depth, relatable characters, and impeccable pacing. These stories offer readers a chance to connect with the universal experiences and emotions that we all share, and they remind us of the power of storytelling to bring us closer together. Gorham is a talented writer who has created a collection of stories that will resonate with readers for years to come.

Overall, “Crab Walking and Other Stories” is an interesting read that offers a range of themes and perspectives. The stories are well-written, engaging, and thought-provoking. The collection is a testament to the author's skill as a storyteller and her ability to explore complex emotions and issues in a way that is relatable to readers. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. Judy Gorham's Crab Walking and other stories is a wonderful collection of short stories that deserves praise for its emotional depth, relatable characters, and impeccable pacing. These stories offer readers a chance to connect with the universal experiences and emotions that we all share, and they remind us of the power of storytelling to bring us closer together. Judy is a talented writer who has created a collection of stories that will resonate with readers for years to come.

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