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Cage Life (Love in the Time of Literature Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Karin Cox
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

What happens when life doesn't turn out as planned? This collection of two evocative, dark love stories 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?

Part of the Love in the Time of Literature series, these stories probe the depths of human despair and longing, exploring both the helpless and healing aspects of mankind's greatest motivation: love.

Editorial Reviews


From Parents Little Black Book Reviews
In the first story we meet a young University student living in Queensland in Australia. She is drifting through her life with uncertain goals and friends who may not be the best choice. Along the way she meets a man who while he doesn't sweep her off her feet, he at the very least, sweeps the kitchen. Unfortunately, her fairy tale life is beginning to crumble and eventually disaster strikes.A very well written and emotion provoking story that will leave a lasting impression.

[The second] is a twisted little story that will grip you with its heartbreaking view of neglect and stun you at the end. I loved this one so much I went back and read it again.

Ms. Cox not only knows how to communicate a story well, the writes with skill. Her characters are easy to identify with. The narration is good and very smooth.
"The evocative descriptions and the writer's style made me feel like I was standing in the two main characters' shoes throughout the tales." Chief Expectator

I have never been one for sentimental rubbish and even less of a fan for short stories. Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King changed my mind about short story collections and Karin Cox has revamped the whole genre for me! ... This short story collection is a tour de force which very few authors can ever hope to achieve however Ms. Cox has excelled in spades." Reading Addict

From the Author

Thank you for taking the time to read Cage Life. In this busy world, it is no small thing to find the time to immerse yourself in reading. I remain profoundly grateful that so many still love the worlds created by well-written books. Although Cage Life explores dark themes, I feel that both stories offer some absolution from grief and the hint at a brighter future at the end, once the blinkers of perception have been stripped away. I hope you find the same. 

Product Details

  • File Size: 153 KB
  • Print Length: 34 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Indelible Ink Press (July 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005DC6AHM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #857,535 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! September 25, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This writer has a special gift. Creative and extremely well written, these stories are sure move you.

I'm not usually one who likes short stories, however the description of the first story caught my attention, and I felt like I could really relate to this chatacter, being a stay-at-home mother of five myself, I have felt this way as well. It is hard to review these stories without giving too much away, however I will say that what happened to this young family was very unexpected.

It was very late at night when I read the second story, trying to read myself to sleep. My heart was really going out to what I believed to be an abused and helpless, elderly man who is forced into a cuckolded situation by his selfish young girlfriend. When the story ended, I am embarrassed to admit that I was confused. The next morning I thought on this story abit more and the light finally when on in my head. I had to go back and read the story again from this "new" point of view and it all made sense.
Kudos to this author for creating a short story and twisting it in such an amazing way. I would love to read a full-lenth novel from her...what a genious!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poetic prose and surprise ending won me over August 15, 2011
By Ripley
Format:Kindle Edition
Cage Life, by Karin Cox, is a surprising and beautifully written book comprised of two short stories; the first story takes you into the mind of a young mom who feels like a prisoner in her own home and the second centers around 80-something Basil and the results of his love for a younger woman. It only took me an hour to read the entire book, which I received as a review copy via Smashwords.

I'll admit that at first I didn't know if I would be able to finish the book. The subject matter was almost too adult and definitely too dark. The first story, Cage Life, reminded me of a very dark period in my own life, though the details are completely different. Karin's poetic use of words kept me reading. As I savored the vivid prose and admired the images that she so adeptly painted in my imagination, I was pulled into the story. As the main character grew from girl to young mom, I felt her angst, love, and pain. I still can't say that I liked the story--partly due to the fact that I'm a (not so young) new mom myself--but I do respect it for its portrayal of unintended consequences.

The second story, The Usurper, again challenged my morals. Basil wakes, knowing that "it had happened again." We discover the definition of "it" few pages later as Basil contemplates the fate of an octogenarian at the hands of a much younger mistress in a surprising view of elder abuse. I can't go into detail without giving too much away, but this was the story that made me love the book. The ending contains one of my favorite story elements: in a surprise "aha" moment, reality shifts and the reader suddenly views the story in a completely different way. I wanted to give a standing ovation.

Though I am more apt to read for either entertainment or learning, it is good to be challanged to step out of my comfort zone. I plan to look into Karin's Austrailian wildlife books for my son.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leaves a lasting impression November 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Karin Cox worked as an editor in Australia and the UK before turning to writing full time. She has written dozens of titles including travel guides, poetry, children's books and fiction. Cage Life is an electronic publication containing two short stories that explore the common theme of love. I thought them both well structured within the constraints of the format, and elegantly written.

In the first story 'Cage Life', after which the book is titled, Cox thoughtfully explores the emotional restlessness of a young wife and mother who is chafing against the confines of her quiet life, and the dramatic consequences she faces when she takes that life for granted. Unexpectedly dark and emotionally raw I ultimately thought Cage Life to be a moving tale of redemption and hope.

In 'The Usurper', Cox questions the surety of unconditional love in the face of aging as Basil questions his young mistress's loyalty to their relationship. The unexpected twist in this story in particular is stunning, the shift in perspective took me completely by surprise but worked brilliantly.

Cage Life can be quickly devoured in a lunch time or commuter trip but will leave a lasting impression. If this collection is representative of Karin's writing talent, I am sure she will find success as an author of fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!! February 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Both sotries in 'Cage Life' are very well written. It was hard to put down from the first few pages and I was appreciative of the private look into the characters lives.
Personally I loved the unexpected twist of the second story 'Usurper', and I have to admit I had to think about it before it hit me!
Thank you Karin, look forward to reading more of your work. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done! July 23, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Loved it! "Cage Life" contains two well written short stories by Karin Cox. (According to her profile, she's been a professional editor for more than a decade, and it shows.) The evocative descriptions and the writer's style made me feel like I was standing in the two main characters' shoes throughout the tales.

In both stories, the main character feels trapped in his or her own home and deeply regrets previous choices, yet each character treads a different path to escape the cage of their own making.

The plot twists were unexpected and left me with two very satisfying, enjoyable reads. Bravo!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by BusyMom
4.0 out of 5 stars Two Incomparable Short Stories
I gave the review a four because with the first story I was looking for it to go just a little longer. Good story it is but not quite finished in my opinion. Read more
Published 7 months ago by DMurphy
4.0 out of 5 stars Two mind throwing tales....
This book had two very unique stories in it. The first one was simply amazing… The character started with nothing.. Read more
Published 16 months ago by DeNisa Howe
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but not so sweet
Cage Life is a two-story collection (Still Life & The Usurper) with a thematic focus on coping with loss, the nature of love, obsession and abuse. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Greg James
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic and Poignant
I think I must have started to read Cage Life on about six different occasions -- I would get to a certain point in the first story, Still Life, and very moved emotionally, I'd put... Read more
Published 20 months ago by M. Frastley
4.0 out of 5 stars Creative, Well Written, Evocative
These two short stories fit the title of the book perfectly.

Still Life was amazing! It tells the story of a young single mother, disillusioned with her marriage and her... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Graham Downs
4.0 out of 5 stars Two solid short stories
The common theme uniting the two short stories by Australian writer Karin Cox in this kindle e-book is a caged in, trapped feeling. Read more
Published 23 months ago by DWD's Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very good story
it was so good I just couldn't put my kindle away while watching , I'm an avid reader and if I read a few pages and it doesn't jolt mr I delete it, but this one was fantastic
Published on March 29, 2013 by oscarlaplante
2.0 out of 5 stars Depressing
It's not that the writing is bad. I just found these stories too depressing. I like a light humorous read. I finished the first one and wished I hadn't. Read more
Published on February 17, 2013 by Heather
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written
This book consists of two stories covering some rather dark subject matter.
The first one takes an unexpected and heartbreaking turn, but ends on a note of hope. Read more
Published on February 11, 2013 by reader3278
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More About the Author

Karin Cox is an Australian author who edits and writes in her "spare time" while being a fulltime mum to a toddler and to a black cat with the improbable name of "Ping Pong."

She is the author of more than 35 trade-published natural history books, biographies, Australian social history books, children's picture storybooks, and travel guides, several of which have won awards. Karin has had poems and short stories published in anthologies worldwide and her ebooks CRUXIM, CRECHE, CREED, GROWTH, CAGE LIFE, CROWS AND OTHER BEASTS, HEY LITTLE SISTER and PANCAKES ON SUNDAY are available on Amazon. Her bestselling CRUXIM trilogy has topped Amazon's best-seller charts for gothic romance and dark fantasy.

Thankfully, the busier she gets, the more creative she is (and the more likely to afford to hire a housekeeper). You can follow her on twitter @Authorandeditor, visit her fanpage on Facebook or sign up for her newsletter to be the first to know about new releases at

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