I am honoured to be involved in the blog tour for this fantastic short story collection.
A single decision can save – or ruin – a life.
An opportunistic baby theft by a young woman in pain. Two strangers shipwrecked on a lifeless rock, unable to speak the same language. An isolated cycling holiday descends into terror. One woman seeks the courage to destroy her life. A miracle unites a community, and teenagers take a stand against hypocrisy.
Karl Drinkwater presents characters to root for – and characters to dread – in sixteen tales of humanity, endurance, and spirit.
I absolutely love the short story form, and I am slowly but surely falling in love with a number of short story collections.
I have found this collection to be entirely addictive and captivating. I have found myself ignoring my children’s demands, announcing that they must wait until I come to the end of the story.
Within this collection, Karl deals with, or touches on, many controversial or interesting themes and topics. Sometimes the topics are dealt with sensitively and delicately, sometimes they are dealt with brutal force and forthright expression. The stories cover topics including: motherhood, suicide, survival, love, loss and family bonds. There is an honesty and a clarity to his writing; yet there is depth and elegance too.
There are also some highly original features to this short story collection. Firstly, it would be impossible to place these stories within a particular genre. Some are light, some are very, very dark. There are elements of cosy mystery, romantic fiction, domestic drama and gripping thrillers throughout the collection.
Secondly, there are original features to the style of the writing presented here. My favourite was probably the effective use of dialect. This helped me to quickly imagine and develop a connection with certain characters. Another extremely original feature was the use of monologue, almost presented as a stream of consciousness. Again, this builds the identity of the characters as well as making for an immersive reading experience.
The tales in this book are very varied. Some are thought-provoking and some are haunting. Either way, I have found this collection extremely enjoyable and know many of the stories will stay with me for some time.
I would highly recommend this collection to fans of contemporary fiction, or those looking for a good place to start when it comes to short story collections. This has been a fascinating and original reading experience.