I don’t very often read short stories, preferring longer books to really get to know a character. I’m always impressed when I do read them, however, with how much an author can pack into a short read. This is true of this collection of short stories from Jessikah Hope Stenson.
There are five stories in the collection, more details at the bottom on the post, and I was particularly struck by ‘What Isla Did’. In this story, young Isla has died and we meet her grieving family. Struggling to cope with their loss, strange things are happening around them making life even more difficult for them. Her sister is beginning to suspect the truth. This story, along with the others, is sensitively written and has likeable characters going through what feels like very real experiences. The emotions of the characters are well conveyed.
A Single Drop of perfect is a quick read but with real depth and lots to think about. I am particularly impressed with these stories as the author is only just out of her teens. I think her writing style is mature already and would be keen to see how this develops particularly in longer pieces of writing.
My thanks to the author for providing a copy of her book to review. A Single Drop of Perfect was published by Excalibur Press on 18 February 2016 and you can order a copy here: A Single Drop of Perfect
From the back of the book
A Single Drop Of Perfect: Carla’s on the cusp of adulthood. As her final weeks in the family home draw to a close she struggles to keep a grip on her true self. With her boyfriend hundreds of miles away, Carla battles with loneliness, finding comfort in unexpected places and experiencing moments of perfection that can never be replicated.
What Isla Did: Isla was young, brave and creative. She is remembered as a golden girl and their beloved daughter, but no one can be perfect.
The Lemon And The Lake: June and Max are exploring the gorgeous countryside of Granada. However, where there’s perfection, there’s horror.
Wounds: Helen’s new husband Steven brings his dog Wilf into the family home. When Helen’s eight year old daughter Maisie finds herself in hospital, suffering from a vicious dog attack, Steven has a lot to answer for. Moral and ethical questions arise when Helen is determined to have Wilf put down in spite of Steven’s desire to keep is beloved pet alive.
The Edge Of A Smile: Walking home at night, university student Heidi is accompanied by a stranger named Bryony. Both of them have secrets which will destroy the other.