Jess Wells

Author of Modern and Historical Fiction, Instructor in the Craft

The Disappearing Andersons of Loon Lake

The Disappearing Andersons of Loon Lake
An audio book narrated by the author focuses on the love, loss, irony and humor in the lives of eight families living around Loon Lake, a shallow fishing spot in Northern Michigan. Whether it’s the story of a young dreamer and a bully, a man looking forward to retirement and the family that stands in his way; a teacher facing ethical choices, or a family coping with disaster, these stories delight.

Reviews:

"A collection of short stories loosely tied together by a location, that being Loon Lake, a sort of darker version of Lake Wobegon. But what really ties the stories together is Well’s wry sensibilities and lyrical prose. She mixes tragedy and comedy to great effect; producing stories that feel true as if it were gossip heard first hand. The bite sized stories in audio-book form are perfect for listening-to-while-commuting."-- Amazon.com

Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite
"The Disappearing Andersons of Loon Lake, written and narrated by Jess Wells, is a two-hour short story collection audio book that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who enjoy short stories that all share a common setting and a mix of different themes and characters. The audio book is made up of eight short stories which are: Letters from the Land of Plenty, The Witness, The Disappearing Andersons, Soulmates, Dinner with Dad, The Roses, The Last Excursion, and Monopoly. Each short story is about a different family that lives around an area in Northern Michigan called Loon Lake. The Disappearing Andersons of Loon Lake by Jess Wells is a well written and produced audio book. I loved how the author managed to truly capture the feelings different people might have living in a small community. Each of the characters felt like real people instead of fictional characters, which made me wonder if the author had based some of them on real people, or if the stories themselves were inspired by true events. The author’s use of figurative language throughout the stories was beautifully chosen in order to evoke real emotions and to allow me to picture the events in my mind as they unfolded. Overall, I felt like the audio book was an emotional roller coaster with how each story provoked different emotions from me. The author, Jess Wells, performed the narration of The Disappearing Andersons of Loon Lake with remarkable talent. Often authors fail at successfully narrating their own books as they narrate more for themselves than for their audience, but that was not the case with this audio book. Jess Wells might be new to audio book narration, but I would never have been able to tell from her performance as she truly succeeded in making the words come alive for me. I hope to hear her narrate more of her books, or books written by other authors in the future, as she truly knows how to use her voice to draw the listener deeper into the story with every word she speaks!"

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

"The Disappearing Andersons of Loon Lake by Jess Wells is a compelling collection of stories, narrated by the author, stories that have the same setting in Loon Lake. One gets the impression that this is a book about a place, but it features very interesting characters and covers a variety of themes — love and loss, family dynamics, conflicts, etc. The first story - “Letters from the Land of Plenty” - opens with the Elder, Carlos the Leader, the Time Keeper, the dispenser of government checks, losing the last fragment of the village’s only hymnal, a piece that has been kept in the cantina, like most of the good things in the village. But how did this man become the laughing stock of the entire village? The reader is already introduced to the theme of change and gets a deep sense that things can never be the way they used to be in this village. The eight stories featured in this collection are an interesting ride alongside compelling characters. There is an array of subjects in this narrative, with stories that involve family and marriage, bullying, making serious choices, and tragedy in a family. From the clear and compelling voice of the author comes a narrative that will arrest the attention of any good listener. The writing has something lyrical about it, a poetic quality that will strongly resonate in the heart of the reader. The beauty of the language combines with the author’s sense of setting to create a world that readers can quickly escape to. This book contains the kinds of stories you can listen to anywhere — you can listen to them on your couch, in the quiet moments in your room, or in your car while driving. The Disappearing Andersons of Loon Lake is a sweet little gift, a gem for fans of short stories. The stories are interesting, but it is the characters that will stay with readers long after they are done listening to them."

"What really ties the stories together is Wells' wry sensibilities and lyrical prose. She mixes tragedy and comedy to great effect; producing stories that feel true as if it were gossip heard first hand." - Amazon.com Review
Historical Fiction
The early adulthood of Christine de Pizan, called "artfully captured with economy and delicacy [that] comes across beautifully in this well-written and researched work." - The Historical Novels Review
"Historical events…are elegantly woven into the plot. The well-rounded characters, constant action, and captivating subject matter unite (in The Mandrake Broom) to enlighten as well as infuriate as the atrocities of the time period become real through Wells’ vivid writing…. Reminiscent of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon series, Jess Wells’ third novel belongs on everyone’s reading list”– The Historical Novels Review