Karin Cox; Kindle Edition
Published July 18th 2011 (first published July 17th 2011)
What happens when life doesn’t turn out as planned? This collection of two evocative stories (each with a surprising twist) explores the choices and compromises we make in life and in love, and how they can trap or liberate us, depending on our mindset. Each story comes with an unexpected twist that makes reading all the way to the end imperative.
In “Cage Life,” first published by [untitled] in 2010 as “Still Life”, a young mum feels like a prisoner in her own home. Her decision to escape the bonds of marriage and motherhood, just for a few hours, has unexpected consequences that force her to a re-evaluate what it really means to be loved, to be married, and to be free.
In “The Usurper,” unconditional love is explored within the boundaries of age and longing. Basil is in his eighties, with an illustrious career in law enforcement behind him, when he meets Carla — a beautiful, energetic and much younger mistress. But when Simon appears on the scene, can Basil keep her or does she, in fact, keep him?
Ok, so I’m gonna start by saying I wouldn’t be able to pick one story I liked the most out of the two. But it was a strange love/hate relationship between me and not the stories as written works, but the stories of the characters involved. And I bet you’re already like .
The writing is very, very good. It has it all, substance, poise, elegance, great rhythm, gorgeous descriptive mad skillz, beautiful imagery (in places), slightly horrifying imagery (in others). That is to say, the stories are such that they juggle with both beauty and ugliness in that very human way, you know? I’m not going to give you a lot of details on this, or I’d ruin your read and I’d hate to do that.
But I am going to say that the stories are rather harsh reads; they’re quick, beautifully done, but harsh. Now, this being a time of the year I’m not exactly a cheery smurf, these sort of harsh reads are something I generally avoid. I need feel-good reads when I’m in my dark mood part of the year. So had I read this more like during summer or spring, I’m sure it would have been a 5 butterflies read for sure. The 4 butterflies are my emotional-response rating, as all my ratings are in fact. The writing is beautifully done, it’s just I wasn’t really in the proper mood to fully enjoy a harsh read, that’s all.
If you like short stories with substance, and memorable stories, and if you’re rather brave of heart, I say you must read these, they’re beautiful though painful as well.
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