We all know that saying, never judge a book by it’s cover – well I’m guilty about that over this book. I saw a picture of this book on Penguin UK Books Instagram page and I decided there and then I had to read it. I have to admit, I’ve never read a collection of short stories, so I was intrigued to see how I’d feel about it. Would I think there’s something missing or unfulfilled? Would I feel a connection with characters over a brief space?
Stories from Other Places is written by Nicholas Shakespeare and comprises of eight short stories that all hail from different countries and eras. The book starts with a novella called Oddfellows, which is set around the Broken Hill massacre in Australia in 1915, a terrible event I’d never heard of before. The story centres around Rosalind a local girl and Gul an ice-cream seller and their friendship and which ends in tragedy for them both.
The second story, The White Hole of Bombay is a heart-wrenching tale set in post-independence India, beautifully written with enough compassion to draw you in and hold you. In all of the stories, Shakespeare brings to life characters and deals with complex emotions, and the stories, yet short will stay with me for a long time to come.