Back Reading, and Two Reviews of Sorts...
My brain is rubbish. After three breakdowns and a variety of mental illnesses diagnosed, it doesn't work at all well. My memory is shot and because I write (my escape, my healing) I stopped one of my favourite hobbies of reading. There have been a couple of pieces read, but nothing like how I used to read. Now I'd like to change that.
Exercise my brain.
And keep it going.
With this in mind I figured the best place to start were short stories. I should be able to remember what's happening, and the goal of finishing isn't so far distant I feel exhausted. And this week I'm pleased to say I read two. I'm sure most people would finish them in hours, but each one took me three days, and I thoroughly enjoyed my choices. Two very different authors with very different voices, each one wonderful, and both independently published.
This was the perfect start for me. Written in a gothic, Victorian vein, it took me back to the very first books I started reading; those of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dickens. I won't give much away, as I never think that is what a review is meant to do. All I will say is it's a ghost story in keeping with the period; the voice used being perfect for the piece, characters all relatable, and the story simple but enduring and reflecting the period.
Loved it. A 5 star short story on Amazon and Goodreads for me.
This was a wee bit more challenging for me, in a good way. I had to concentrate more as the narrative was through the eye of the beholder, written in character and with accents - they being of the Moonshine US South and Irish - so that it reminded me a bit of reading Steinbeck. I always think the sign of a good voice is when I start reading in accent - or at least hear the characters in my mind - and that was pretty much from the get go. It's a pretty unique tale. Again, I will not give much away in a review, but it's a new perspective on the Selkie, Fae and the meeting of cultures from across the pond from each other, all carried off with great skill.
Loved it. Another 5 star short story on Amazon and Goodreads for me.
As an aside... I think it's important to note that both these stories were independently published by authors exploring their art, and being brave enough to put work out there. Both were indeed wonderful. Marvellous examples of the short story and the different, but equally successful, styles they can take.
Now I need to find some more short stories. Until next time... (Which I hope will be soon)