Victoria Pearson lives behind a keyboard somewhere in rural Bedfordshire, attempting to write amidst the chaos being married with three children creates. She has a cat (called Mog) and a dog (that her family refused to let her name Dog) because Aristotle said that to be a balanced person you need a dog to adore you and a cat to ignore you (and because the other cat buggered off without even leaving a note).She spends most of her time creating new worlds, characters, and religions, so is often found wearing odd socks, with unbrushed hair and a faraway look in her eye, or else scrabbling madly for a pen that works to get the stories all trapped on a page before they run off and get into mischief.
Strange Love: Short Stories and Twisted Talesby Victoria Pearson
These ten short stories and twisted fairytales all deal with the theme of love, in its many different facets, whether pure or tainted. See Snow White and Rapunzel in a whole new light, ponder love from a very different viewpoint, see the world through the eyes of one who doesn't know what love is. These tales will bring smiles as well as tears, but offer no
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These ten short stories and twisted fairytales all deal with the theme of love, in its many different facets, whether pure or tainted. See Snow White and Rapunzel in a whole new light, ponder love from a very different viewpoint, see the world through the eyes of one who doesn't know what love is. These tales will bring smiles as well as tears, but offer no gurantee of a happy ending.
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Victoria Pearson has given us a delightful collection of short stories - most so short I would call them "flash fiction" - of which each involves variations on the theme of love, and each has a twist, either of perspective, or expectations, or character. I found the writing to be very easy to read, the stories clever and thoroughly vetted. Most refreshingly, I found the reading experience to be very consistent; whereas in many collections you find a number of standouts and a number of duds, in this collection every story had its place, and, with the possible exception of Nine Lives, which seemed redundant, each was compelling in its own way. The writing was smooth and competent, very rarely distracting, which I thought was an accomplishment because most of the stories were driven by sleight of hand. Occasionally, I found lines that I considered poetry: "I huddled in my bed, a small ball of non-feeling in a sea of warm, heavy quilts." but these were generally offset by lines that seemed a bit heavy-handed: "I watch the dog piss into the snow, staining it like shame, never to be pure again." Both of these experiences were the exception, and overall it was a soothing narration that allowed me to focus on the stories being presented. And it was definitely an interesting mix of stories. Even cursory summaries would give too much away, so I will just say that the author has a way of conveying pathos for the unusual. Each story feels like a peek beyond the edges of everyday experience, and yet the reader is taken down the path completely, so that the emotions feel vivid and real. While reading these stories I had the feeling that the author was telling me the most important parts of the story, with no wasted words. There is a sense that these are real stories, and the author knows them well, but just shares what will convey the experience most effectively. In one story, for example, it was clear that Ms. Pearson had worked out an entire religion for cats; only snippets were revealed to us, and yet the revelations felt profound. Overall, this is a refreshingly interesting and solid collection, and I would definitely recommend it. The only thing keeping it from being a 5 star experience for me is an extra edge of grittiness; a bit of poignant redemption or bitter heartbreak, perhaps. However, I can see the potential for that in this author's writing, and I will be on the lookout for their future work. I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.