Hinting at Shadows Kindle Edition
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From the Author
- Publication date : November 14, 2016
- File size : 248 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 133 pages
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B01N0DVWKO
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,489,284 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Sarah’s characters are stoic, resilient and powerful. Whether it is the grief of losing a child, shattered dreams, a simple regret or serious mental health issue, she writes with the brilliance of an accomplished writer, handling emotions with acumen and touching your heart with just few words.
This book exemplifies how a lot can be said just within few words. True to its name, the book hints at all the shadows around us and bewilders you how they could be compressed into poignant poetic tales. Each one is better than the other but some stand out as exceptional – ‘Closet Space,’ ‘Twilight,’ ‘Maybe’, ‘Bitter Cold’, ‘Mirror, Mirror.’ This is a book to be read leisurely, to be savored slowly and felt deeply.
Every story is a pearl. The writing is exquisite and full of pathos with a focus on the poignancy of the human condition. Hinting at Shadows is the perfect title as each story is a tiny hint at a larger human story, one that is characterized by shadows – sometimes secrets, but more often complex feelings of loneliness, regret, longing, disappointment, and hope.
It would be possible to whip through this book in a couple hours, but I think it’s meant to be savored, just as one might read poetry. So that’s what I did. It’s perfect for someone who enjoys filling their free moments with words or someone who just loves beautiful writing.
Between the pages of this book, you will find a collection of flash fiction that delves deep into the human condition exploring perceptions, reactions, thoughts, and emotions.
The author split the book into four parts: Mindscapes, Connections, Lifelines, and Microbursts, which are stories under fifty words, including a few modified Haiku.
I found there was a certain edge or "shadow" that meandered through the pages conveying a wide range of emotions in my soul. We all have a place of darkness inside us, and Brentyn excels at finding and revealing even the darkest of human truths in her writing. She bares it all!
I’ve read this book many times, especially when I need to reconnect to some of my own dark truths. It was no surprise that one of my favorite sections was the Microbursts. In only six words, a story is born.
“Her voice was music and madness.”
Brentyn, Sarah. Hinting at Shadows (p. 92). Kindle Edition.
Brentyn is a master storyteller of the macabre and the mundane as she weaves her stories into feelings that will make you embrace your own darkness… if you dare!
Throughout the collection, the approach is like a really good joke, in the sense of premise, build up, surprise, except that instead of laughter, you run a variety of emotions that range from sadness, to wonder, to shock.
The fact is clear though, Sarah Brentyn can write and Hinting at Shadows is almost a sort of literary preview reel of great stories. There are some solid entries here that could easily be made into a fully fleshed short story or even a book. But that’s not the purpose of this collection, instead it’s meant to tantalize, to inspire, to serve as a snapshot or a glimpse within a much larger story that invites the reader to unleash their imagination. It definitely makes me wonder what she could bring forth with a long form work.
As for the rating, it’s a 5 because the quality of writing, ideas, concepts, and dialogue is there. The only 4 star thing is that feeling of wanting more… and as a writer, I don’t think there’s a better reaction one could hope for.
Top reviews from other countries
I was entranced right from the very first story: Emily. I had been warned that these stories make you stop and think, go back, and read them again, and it’s true… I had to go back and read Emily several times. Perhaps it touched a nerve. It reminded me of my relationship with my own daughter, at once a beautiful and happy and sad thing.
I turned the page to the next story: Regret, which ‘scoops you out like a cantaloupe’… who hasn’t felt like that at some point? Most of us are no strangers to regret.
And so on through the book. These stories may be short, but they explode in your brain like tasty little book-bombs, full of deeper meaning and intensity. They’re not for the faint-hearted. They will lead you into the shadows of human nature, and that’s an uncomfortable place many prefer not to tread.
I loved this book. In some ways it was challenging to read, because I identified with so many of the stories. But it was also beautifully and richly crafted. Brentyn has a skill with the written word that just leaves you breathless and wishing you could write like that. Even the introduction is a work of art.
I also think she can see into people’s souls. How else can she lay so much of the reader open in the pages of her book?
The book is a collection of short stories or, more accurately, flash fiction, a style of writing that I’m not overly familiar with. I have rediscovered my appreciation of short stories in recent years, which was what brought me to this book. What I found inside was an experience I hadn’t had before. Stories that were over in minutes (sometimes seconds), but that left me thinking. So, although I started out with the intention of ploughing my way through it, I came to realise that I could only read a few at a time. Like a fancy box of chocolates, if I’d wolfed those stories down, I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate them.
As the title suggests, dark places are visited throughout the book. What Brentyn has done here is create intricate experiences that touch nerves through some carefully crafted narratives. This is not a book that will appeal to everyone. My own feeling initially was of uncertainty. Yet, by being patient, and savouring the morsel-sized tales, I came to appreciate the author’s mastery as a storyteller. There are lessons to be learnt here for all writers.
If you fancy something different, something that will challenge you, change you, scratch the darker side of you, I highly recommend Brentyn’s book.
I only have one criticism. It wasn’t long enough. She needs to write a novel… Now that would be spectacular.