Review of The Route Book at Bedtime in The Big Issue in the North
‘Adult bedtime books don’t come much better than this with a series of short stories that explore desire, heartache, misunderstanding and envy. This is the 22nd short story instalment from Route. There’s a first person presence throughout and each story maintains a tranquil tone despite the passions explored. It begins with Pippa Griffin’s tale of teenage infatuation, Crush, a wonderfully evocative story of how when it comes to first loves, rose-tinted spectacles often cloud our emotions long after the original event, sometimes with ghastly consequences. Then there’s Chris Hill’s magnificent depiction of a loveless marriage where there’s no obvious culprit but a road accident causes the couple to confront their differing sensibilities. Regressing to childhood isn’t out of bounds either as Katherine Reed inhabits the world of a young boy coping with the divorce of his parents.
The manner in which each story carries such bountiful emotion over only a few pages makes this an ideal bedtime companion.’