By Donna Salli
Published by North Star Press
173 Pages


I have met ladies who are like the women who populate the world of Donna Salli’s book. I would bet that when you wade into A NOTION OF PELICANS, you will find women you know, too.

There’s the church basement lady who is firm in her ways and solid in her faith. There’s the uppity college professor who makes sure you know her opinions. There’s the lady thespian who is proud of her artificial world on the stage but not so sure of her real world. There’s the pastor’s wife, who recognizes her place in the community but still has her desires. And of course, it all comes from the pioneering spirit of the lady who founds a church based on a heavenly sign in the form of circling pelicans above the hills along the shores of a beautiful lake. Interspersed among the story of each ladies are short vignettes of a night in the town where the church and the ladies reside. And yes, the lore that began with those pelicans so many years ago presents itself, sometimes unnoticed, sometimes obvious.

Each woman is featured in a chapter all their own. Ms. Salli more than tells us about each lady – she shows us the life and emotions of each lady. By the time we read of each woman, we know what she looks like, what her habits are, her preferences in culture and men.

Just like the women who have so many aspects, the setting of the story offers so many moods. The small town of the Pelican church is located on the shores of the Great Lakes, which can be clear and sunny, or stormy and dark, and every mode in between. Is it a cool night? Rainy? Sunny? What season is it? The descriptions in the book fill us in well with every breath of wind and movement of the lake.

Salli’s writing style presents humor and pathos as we meet each woman – her writing skills are many, and very precise, so that all the words are used in a crisp, clear manner. Each chapter moves right along with its purpose. Ms. Salli’s training as a writer began with poetry, so we see her preference of economical use of words, and of choosing the right word in every sentence.

I am fortunate to count Donna Salli as among my writer friends. I have been allowed in on some of the decisions that led to this book. In so many ways, I see Donna’s world, and I also saw some new matters that let me know Donna even better as a writer and as a person.

When you buy your copy of A NOTION OF PELICANS, buy two. I can guarantee you have a friend who will like this book as well as you will.