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This Time Might Be Different

Stories of Maine

Softcover, 320 pages, 5.5 x 8, Fiction / Short stories

ISBN: 978-1-944762-44-5



Available as an e-book in these formats:
Amazon Kindle

About this Book:

This Time Might Be Different: Stories of Maine by award-winning writer Elaine Ford is a collection of fifteen stories in which deftly drawn characters contemplate difficult choices: a young girl might have coffee with a stranger; a guy might decide to rob the local laundromat; or a widow might get in the car and just keep driving. Underneath the commonplace—running into an old lover, a longstanding feud, an unspoken divorce—readers will find a trace of dark humor, a sinister underpinning, or a profound irony. Of Ford's rural-Maine-set novel Monkey Bay, The New York Times said: "Elaine Ford's book is reminiscent of Andrew Wyeth's stark paintings, which use the terrain of northern New England to explore a much larger emotional landscape."


"...quietly gripping storytelling."
Down East Magazine

"... the beating heart of these stories pits the human need to connect against the fierce independence that is the hallmark of her adopted home state. The book has a wintery feel: freezing winds off the bay, hearts beating under worn sweaters, toes stiffening in wet boots. In their mood and compassion, they bring Andre Dubus Sr.’s short stories to mind, and the stories hold shimmering moments of grace and vulnerability, a welcome final collection from a singular voice."
Boston Globe

“Ford’s attention to the sensory is unrelenting and render the setting and her characters as real as our neighbors . . . In every story, Ford’s characters insist we pay attention to the dark and grey corners of their lives. She presents her characters in decisive moments: stay, go, act, retreat, lie, tell the truth. None of the stories preach a correct path. Instead, the reader watches decisions unfold while warning, cringing, cheering and never turning away. Ford won’t allow it. Her prose hooks and reels in the reader.”
––Maine Women Magazine

"If 'irony is just honest with the volume cranked up,' as American writer George Saunders claims, then Maine author Elaine Ford turned the ironic short story into a modern, impressive art form. [. . .] Ford's writing is uncomfortably visceral––she creates characters and situations that are all too painfully real. The more flaws she reveals in her characters, the more we see the same in ourselves."
––Bill Bushnell, "Bushnell on Books," Morning Sentinel

"Elaine Ford lays bare the struggles of her Mainers with unflinching clarity and beauty and a flashing dark humor. Her characters are sympathetic and mysterious in their quiet willful grace. Ford's original, compelling stories are wrought with a keen understanding of both place and human nature."
—Kate Christensen, PEN-Faulkner award-winning author of The Great Man and The Last Cruise

"The stories contain hallmarks of her writing: lean, unpretentious, funny, evocative of place and populated with people who live complicated lives and who wish to improve them, against hope."
Maine Sunday Telegram

"Elaine Ford’s stories use the famous Maine terseness to great advantage as she limns strong emotions dwelling in confined circumstances. The people in her stories want something more, something better than what they have to hand but they live in a world that is unforgiving in its rigidities, customs, and habits. Something has to give and what gives in each story is not—despite the whiffs and pangs of desperation—spectacular but, in keeping with the naturalist precision of her writing, something terribly mundane. Minds get made, decisions get made, but the ways of the people, right down to the rural economy of feeling, don’t get made. They are, and that is Ford’s particular genius—to accept that and write it truly."
—Baron Wormser, Poet Laureate of Maine, 2000 - 2005

"All the stories in This Time Might Be Different are credible, engaging and will stand as an enduring testament to the brilliant literary skills of Ms. Ford."
—The Miramichi Reader

"One of the greatest ironies of the painful, poignant stories of the provincial, lonely, and often loveless lives depicted in the late Elaine Ford's This Time Might Be Different: Stories of Maine is that the collection comes wrapped in a package of love. A foreword by poet Wesley McNair and an afterword by Ford's husband Arthur Boatin provide the gift paper. McNair knows how clearly Ford understands those of whom she writes and how thoroughly without pretension she was (in her person and in her fiction). Her art is in the beautiful sentences through which she reveals the physical beauty and bleakness of the poor cities and towns of Maine and the economic and cultural peculiarities of communities where there is little work to be had. Boatin's afterword provides a biography of Ford's life, literary and otherwise, letting us know how surprisingly far Ford ranged in her geography and life experiences, making her final careful focus on the quotidian of the hard knock Maine life all the more moving. Once she moved to Maine, Ford found what she needed for this book, close at hand, in what she observed in the lives of others. Would that she were here to see the great red bow of reader appreciation for what she has accomplished."
—Debra Spark, author of Unknown Caller and The Pretty Girl

"From her vivid portrayals of her characters to her descriptions of their often difficult and troubled lives to her very realistic dialogue, Elaine puts you right into the heart of her stories."
––George Smith,

“The 15 stories cover a broad range of topics about life and death decisions, obsession, factory work, secrets, friendship, second chances and a comical robbery. They are as varied as the characters we meet, who are honed perfectly by an extraordinarily talented writer. We want to know these people and probably already do. The stories are spare, yet filled with emotion; they are unique, yet share the commonality of a place. This place with all of its grittiness, beauty and hardscrabble way of life is a very real place called Maine.”
—RJ Heller, The Quoddy Times

Elaine Ford

About this Author

Elaine Ford is the author of five novels, including The Playhouse, Ivory Bright, Missed Connections, Monkey Bay, and Life Designs, and a book of short stories called Th



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