We are all made up of stories. Keen observer of life Judith Ets-Hokin picks up some interesting ones and brings them to us in a collection with an intriguing name—Plastic Jesus and Other Stories. A medley of 13 stories with an array of themes, Plastic Jesus is a good weekend read.
The stories are of varied length, The Hunt, being the longest, and encompass myriad emotions and terrains. The writing is fluid and deep with intricately depicted scenes, intense characters, and ebb and flow of emotions showcasing linguistic penchant.
Traveling unrestrained The vast wilderness Floating on clouds Making mistakes Capturing the bliss Of throwing care To the whistling winds! All our messy lives Seeking happiness! Failing to behold Nature that throbs With the power Of just being!
This week, I was on a fascinating journey in New Orleans of the 19th century, with a Creole girl and her Gift. The coming-of-age story of 15-year-old Gabrielle starts from a devastating flood in her hometown of Buras and ends in a New Orleans home. A journey but filled with magic and hauntings, spells and conjuring, sadness and misgivings. The breezy storyline has much to offer and flows meticulously and swiftly from one chapter to the next, building up curiosity as esoteric elements emerge in the life of the young girl.
The narrative creates vivid pictures of an age gone by, yet so alive. The author does not dwell much on extensive imagery and descriptions, though I felt that descriptive scenes of the ambiance and the rich Creole culture would have given more depth to the work. Maybe, I was just craving for more as I became engaged in the travails of the protagonist and her family.
The guilt was gnawing but worse was the desire to call him up and request a meeting. She had been stalking him on social media for quite some time now but it had been nearly a year since she had been thinking about him. She would recall the final conversation they had over the phone. Their last face-to-face meeting was more than two years before that, when there was still some semblance of affection between them. Then he had gone and had met her, the woman who was now his wife, and the charade of love was ripped off from their already failed relationship.
Did the strings break Or the melody die out Were they so complex The words and the sounds? Composing emotions Did you fall into the trap Of raking up memories Kept under a wrap? Now here’s a whimper There a mad laughter Grief from the past Rises in dark spectre!
Today, I started reading my first book on the Reedsy Discovery book review community. Reedsy is a British startup online author services firm promoting collaboration between authors and publishing freelancers in the self publishing industry. Discovery, puts a spotlight on the best works of the Independent (indie) publishing world — great books that are often overshadowed by big bestsellers.
As a reviewer, I have full access to the Reedsy Discovery library of advanced review copies (ARCs) and other member perks. Hundreds of authors have submitted their books for discovery. I have access to the submissions pool and can read and review books before they launch.
Now, that I am building my 11-year old son’s library, I am getting to read some great children’s/young adult fiction, and rediscovering forgotten facts. Kavitha Mandana’s The Emperor who Vanished is a book that introduces Indian history, art, and architecture in an interesting manner. This book is relevant for children in middle school because this is the time they are discovering more about Indian’s rich heritage and culture in their school curriculum.
Gulmohar trees swaying In the summer heat Tawny branches bursting With fiery flowers, Crimson petals carpeting The gray gravel road Gleefully picked up For sword fights With tender stamens; The tiny tip breaking free In innocent games Losers none, all winners be! Green sepals become Fake nails in child’s play It is all beautiful, speckled Like colors of tomorrow! A burst of tanginess Tingling the soul, Children head home Chewing sepals, petals; Just a flower, so much to give Until it melts – orange, blue All comes to rest, in dusky hue!