I share optimistic & constructive books from writers committed to excellence in litterature. My favorites books leave me with a sense of lightness and freedom in my heart. "To love is to act" (Victor Hugo)
Although ‘The Sacrifice’ is the name of the last story in this collection, a common theme of self-sacrifice runs through all three short stories. Well, not ‘short’ exactly; each story runs about 70 pages, so I call them ‘long’ short stories. Even ‘longer’, because the characters and their stories kept running inside my head for a long time, as I kept imagining alternative endings. What could have happened, if the chain of events turned this way, instead of the way they turn in the stories now?
The unifying theme of self-sacrifice running through these stories is one of my prized personal values for sure, but what hooked me the most are the situations the author has chosen to demonstrate this theme. These situations are so unique and so specific, yet rendered so alive by the rich, palpable details that I could actually feel the events happening around me! I could remain bonded with the characters, even though their circumstances are so different from mine, simply because the feelings I shared with them were the ones I have already experienced before in my own life. These feelings are truly universal in the sense that they hold good even in the extreme conditions depicted in these stories.
These stories spring no doubt from our contemporary society, but what makes them striking are their character’s expansive outlook on the whole, reflected through their unique style of acting, speaking, and thinking. The dazzling details are highly anchored in reality; the line of tension is so taut and emotions are so grabbing that I remained under their spell long after I turned the last page. I have never felt so awake reading another literary fiction of our days.
I also realized after I set the book aside that the author has done a subtle but powerful job in bringing the theme organically out from inside these stories. By that I mean the author never imposes his values directly on the story; rather, he lets those values emerge from the events of the story only. It’s his subtlety and discretion that I think gives him a unique power in evoking his theme. Through his storytelling alone, he turned me from one side to another, made me laugh and cry as I went along, and at the end it’s me who made the decision on the theme.
And, the theme became my personal value!
I call that artful writing.