Some may say publishing short stories is easier than compiling an intricate novel, but I dare them then to be brave enough to set before themselves the challenge this beginner author has.
26 is a collection in which each story is inspired by a certain colour or shade, which is a beautiful concept in itself. However, the author’s mission is also to tell the stories from different perspectives and tackle some serious social and political topics, as well as those dealing with the most private and intimate details of a person’s life. Some stories are told in the first person and have a highly lyrical tone, and these are the ones in which the author’s style is most relaxed and strongest. Breaking up a relationship, saying goodbye to a child you lost, sibling relationships – these are all told with a particularly gentle voice, highly emotional and romantic. Some stories, however, deal with highly provoking topics such as prostitution, child molesting, betrayal, political riots, sexual orientation and animal abuse. This is where the author shows true potential and makes us wonder how her style and passion will develop after this brave first publishing. Although the impression the stories leave on the reader may vary in strength, probably also dependant on the reader’s own taste and experience, it is fascinating to read how the author creates this patchwork of topics and moods, all connected with her own voice. Let me share some of my favourites. Black, No More! is the one in which a girl changes her black clothes into colourful as she finally gains confidence to stand up for herself, and it is a story where the author talks about serious social issues, not aggressively but from an intimate point of view. Grey Powder is a dialogue about drug abuse, and despite it not being a lyrical peace, it shows tons of promises about what we can expect from this author in the future. The Jade Mandarin Ducks is one of the stories which has potential as a novel, about a married couple facing problems of betrayal and forgiving each other and themselves. Scarlet Autumn gives a short image of an orphan’s melancholy and does for the story what a haiku does for a poem. My absolute favourite if Bleeding Ivory, a heart-breaking love story about…. no, please read it for yourselves. It’s worth it! I did expect a bit more colour, but perhaps it’s just that the collection would be a fantastic gift if illustrated or accompanied by photos. All things considered, this author has created a unique and challenging collection of stories, bravely tackling striking areas of our world, and it will be a pleasure to watch her fine-tune her style and develop as an author.
Book available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SCS2P1O