Thursday, 21 March 2013

Irish Fiction Month Review: Mary O'Sullivan - Full Circle and Other Stories

I've always liked the word 'eclectic' but never found reason to use it - until now. Full Circle comprises a collection of stories that can best be described as eclectic. While the common theme revolves around relationships, the characters range from a comatose patient in story one right through to an eerie scarecrow in the last story . In between you'll find tales of people dealing with the challenges life holds for all of us.

This collection of short stories, Full Circle and Other Stories, from Mary O'Sullivan has been on my Kindle since last summer but my Irish Fiction month has finally given me the perfect excuse to make the time to read them.  And with it is being a selection of short stories it meant that I could read a story or two whenever I had five minutes to spare.

The stories cover an interesting mix of topics exploring family relationships, a comatose patient, serial killers although death seemed to feature quite highly in most of them! 

The first story, Into the Whiteness, features a young woman who's been left in a coma following a car accident, caused by a drunk driver, which also killed her husband.  Her parents visit her constantly with her baby son but she's stuck half-way between this world and the next trying to communicate with her family but they she can't seem to get them to hear her...

Another one of the stories, Jack, is about a disturbed young boy whose parents are struggling as to what can be done to help his anti-social behaviour as he's been chucked out of every school he's attended and he cannot make friends... Writing this short story prompted the author to develop Jack as a character by writing a story for him which was later published, Fire and Ice.  

But one of the stories, The Scarecrow, did contain the one thing that I hate most in a story which is that one of the character's name changing, in this story from Simon to Robert, half-way through which did spoil it a bit for me. 

I have to confess that I still much prefer a longer length story as opposed to these types of collections of short stories as quite often they seem to come to a quick conclusion as though the author has reached their quota of words.  But I will admit that this was not the case at all about this collection, they did all seem to come to a natural conclusion without it being too rushed and leaving loose ends untied.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Shaz, I've just recently come across your review of my short story collection and firstly I would like to thank you for taking the time and trouble to review my work. Next , I must apologise for the name switch error . I agree with you - it is very annoying to a reader and I can assure you, very embarrassing for an author. I can't tell you how many times I edited that collection and yet the that error slipped past me. Thank you for pointing it out . I have changed it now and have uploaded a corrected manuscript which should shortly be published on -line. Sincere thanks , Shaz. Mary O Sullivan.