As the title suggests, this is a collection of eight short stories, each of them as enjoyable as the other. Every one of them was written with a great deal of thought and feeling. The stories are diverse, as are the characters, and are intended—as the ‘blurb’ says—‘to capture a mixture of emotions’. They certainly deliver in that respect: emotions such as pathos, admiration, sympathy, disgust, compassion and pride…pride for those stories’ characters who come through adversity.
It’s hard for me to pick a favourite. I liked them all, but if pressed to choose, I’d pick A C4 on the BW, a story about a young girl dealing with the fall-out of one tragic moment in her life. Erin writes with conviction and insight, so much so, it’s hard to believe that he hasn’t had the same experiences as the main characters of some of these vignettes. But I reckon he hasn’t because the outcome for the protagonist in his final tale, The Last Page, (a keen contender for my favourite!), was quite…final…! And that just illustrates the skill this author has with words. He draws you into the story and manages to make you feel as if you’re part of it, not an observer.
Something to enjoy if you don’t want to read a full-length novel; you can dip in for a short read and be assured of a half-hour well spent.