Don’t Tell Me What to Do

Don’t Tell Me What to Do.

Dina Del Bucchia’s book of short stories is filled with characters who don’t take instructions well, who are a little bit peculiar, who march to the beat of their own drum, who might be considered “difficult people”. But then, I did read a book years ago that basically made the point that everyone is a difficult person to someone.

In one story, a woman steals thousands of dollars in toonies from her much older boyfriend. In another, a woman digs up her lawn and covers it with concrete, much to the chagrin of her neighbourhood association.

In ‘A Beautiful Feeling,’ Pamela, an avid (and I do mean avid) crafter overdoes it with gifts to her co-workers, who are uncomfortable with her over the top generosity and her involvement in their lives. She remembers a co-workers dentist appointment and gives her a potted plant, complete with handmade pot. Her giving escalates, culminating in a bunny and a breakdown in a craft store. It’s an interesting look in how we view office relationships, how we respond to people who make us uncomfortable at work and how our office lives sometimes become our entire lives.

Del Bucchia takes this approach in each of her stories. Yes, her characters are a little weird, a little inappropriate, but they’re still people. You empathize and shy away at the same time.

Dina Del Bucchia was at Event 70 (True Confessions and Tall Tales) the 2017 Vancouver Writers Festival.

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