4 out of 4 stars
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In this book, the author takes us on a journey through twelve short stories about people that follow their instincts. What if your teenage crush shows up on your doorstep several years after you both are married and invites you to be her sole companion in a fishing expedition? In “A Body of Water,” we see what John makes of Sally’s invite as that scenario plays out in his life. Does he go with her? Why or why not?
In ”Voices,” we follow a composer and recently widowed septuagenarian called Neva Roth as she meets what seems to be a man that connects with her in a special way. Does her interest in him materialize into anything? In “Tito’s Descent,” a girl reminisces an expedition with the late Tito and how much of an impact it had on her. What expedition? Find out the answers to the above questions and much more in this collection of fiction stories called Body Language: Twelve Unforgettable Portraits Of Heartbreak And Desire, written by Marylee MacDonald.
The first thing I usually look out for in short stories is its ability to pique my imagination as to what happens next with the characters after the story ends. I say this because short stories aren’t like novels in that they aren’t expected to tell the whole story; they are only required to be thought-provoking. I found that the stories in this book fulfilled this requirement. My favorite story is ”Body Language.” It tells the story of a mother of two adopted children trying to find out the circumstances behind her son’s death. She sends her daughter, Sunny, to that regard. Just like other stories, the end of that story would make the reader think more about the mother’s reactions to Sunny’s findings.
Additionally, I was pleased with how connected I was with some of the characters. I mean, one could have forgiven a shallow characterization due to the length of the stories, but MacDonald seemed to have left no stone unturned. The reader is sure to connect with one or more characters throughout the book. In my favorite story, I felt attached to Sunny and Danny’s mother because when I tried to put myself in her shoes, I could only imagine the amount of pain a mother may feel when there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the death of her son, even if he was adopted.
I rate this collection 4 out of 4 stars. The author has taken her time to come up with interesting stories and has executed it well. Furthermore, I loved that the author included some book club questions after the conclusion of the last story. These questions not only served as a kind of summary for the book but also provided me with insights on what may have been the writer’s thoughts while writing each story.
I can’t think of anything I detest about this read. The author’s use of English was quite easy on the eyes. I wasn’t confused at any point throughout the text. Also, the editorial team has done an excellent job with the book’s editing. I found no grammatical or typographical errors throughout the pages of this piece. However, there were stories that contained the use of profanities. As a result, I would only recommend this book to fiction lovers that aren’t affected by foul language.
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