Wednesday, 16 December 2020

The Times We Had by Alice Griffin

The Times We Had by Alice Griffin
Published by Little Loquat Press in 2016.

A More Than One Challenge read and included in my Vegan Bookshop

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook via Etsy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Writing is how I try and make sense of life and I just love the medium of short stories as there is not always time to read (or write!) novels, but I believe short fiction offers the option to still have a character or thought linger throughout the day, transporting us away from the more tedious tasks of life!

In this collection ~ several of which have appeared in magazines, anthologies and won competitions ~ I have focused on the making and reminiscing of memories... some sad, some funny, some thought-provoking. 

♡ I hope you enjoy them ♡ 

Illustrated with B&W line drawings by the Portuguese artist, Joana Soares, this anthology includes nine short and flash fiction stories.

I loved Alice Griffin's poetry collection, Poems For Animals, so was keen to also read these short stories, The Times We Had. The book comprises nine short and flash fiction stories, each beginning with a fun scene-setting illustration by Joana Soares. I was surprised by just how closely I found myself connecting with two tales in particular, Quiet Space and The Walk. The idea of being drawn towards the quiet spaces  little-used paths - alleyways and towpaths for example - really resonated. In my Sussex childhood, such alleys were called twittens and I often took their routes to avoid the High Street noise and chaos. Although I felt like the odd one out back then, it's reassuring to now realise that I wasn't! The Walk has one of my favourite phrases of The Times We Had where Enid is described as 'a well-worn woman in well-worn boots'. I love this image.

The Times We Had was originally published a few years ago, but I think its focus on remembering our lives' small moments really resonates with what 2020 has taught me. Griffin's characters beautifully reminisce over long-ago family holidays, lost friendships and departed relations. Their recollections are sympathetically portrayed and I loved the authenticity of these thoughts and conversations. For me, The Times We Had made for a perfect end-of-year read.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Alice Griffin / Short stories / Books from England


  1. The small moments in life are the ones that we often look back on the most. This sounds like a wonderful read.

    1. It is!
      I love the way Alice sees the world and the message she puts across through these stories