Book Review:Sweet Home by Carys Bray

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Sweet Home by Carys Bray
Salt Publishing (ebook), 2012
168 Pages

Author Website

Amazon (UK)

Amazon.com

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

WINNER OF THE SCOTT PRIZE

A bereaved mother borrows her next door neighbour’s baby. An outsider builds a gingerbread house at the edge of an English village. A woman is seduced into buying special-offer babies at the supermarket. A father is reminded of his son as he watches the rescue of a group of Chilean miners. A little boy attempts to engineer a happily ever after following the death of his sister.

With psychological insight and a lightness of touch frequently found in fairy tales, Bray delves under the surface of ordinary lives to explore loss, disappointment, frustrated expectations and regret. Described as ‘not just excellent, but significant,’ by poet and critic Robert Sheppard, these dark and lyrical stories illuminate extraordinary and everyday occurrences with humanity and humour.

OPENING PARAGRAPH

Helen’s daughters hate her (EVERYTHING A PARENT NEEDS TO KNOW)

WHAT I THOUGHT

This is my first time reading Carys Bray. Her novel, A Song for Issy Bradley is on my TBR list.

Sweet Home is a great collection of stories. The stories are all quite dark at times but not too dark if you know what I mean. The collection is tinged with moments of sadness. The stories tackle the themes of loss, motherhood, hope and regret and all contain an echo of pain. I really loved the way Bray uses magical realism and fairytale elements. Every story in this collection works well on its own merit and perfectly as a collection. It’s rare to find a collection of stories without at least one weak story. Some stories tugged at my heart strings including The Rescue. My favourite stories were Sweet Home, The Rescue, The Countdown, Bed Rest and The Ice Baby. I loved the others but these shone a little brighter.

I’d highly recommend this excellent collection of stories and look forward to reading more by this author.

Stories included:

  • Everything a Parent Needs to Know
  • Just In Case
  • Sweet Home
  • The Rescue
  • Wooden Mum
  • Dancing in the Kitchen
  • Scaling Never
  • The Baby Aisle
  • My Burglar
  • The Countdown
  • Bed Rest
  • Under Covers
  • Love: Terms and Conditions
  • The Ice Baby
  • Bodies
  • I Will Never Disappoint My Children
  • On The Way Home

RATING

5 STAR RATING

 

 

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