Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Do you remember that day?”
Even though this is a short story, it felt just as involving as some full sized novels I’ve read! Such beautiful, almost delicate words flowed onto each page, and this story has been an absolute delight to experience. Just by reading the few pages of this book, I’m determined to read more by this author, no matter how emotional this one made me! A short review for a short story, but it’s definitely a story that should be experienced by all.
When tragedy strikes in the lives of two young girls, claiming the life of their father, envy takes hold. Childhood memories fade, and spite replaces the once immovable bond between Matilda and her sister, Charlotte, as the years go by. One settles for a traditional life with her husband and kids, burying the punishment and shame of her past, while the other cultivates a career set in the early days of feminism, pursuing work as a nurse during the birth of World War II.
The start of the story is told from the perspective of a grandmother, observing her two great-grandchildren. From the opening of a photo album showing memories of many years ago, we’re transported to the time of pre-World War II. I instantly identified the time from reading the author’s wonderful description. Hearing how characters spoke to one another and reading how they dressed was particularly charming, and I was easily taken back in time and placed directly in the room with these characters. A difficult skill to pull off as an author, but this has really been perfected!
“I thumbed through an old photo album. Its yellowed edges harbored tiny tears like the frayed hem of my polyester skirt that stuck to my skin in the humid air.”
As time goes on, we’re transported forward in time to the year 1993. This time, we learn an emotional fact about this family which forces you to connect with these characters further. I felt saddened by these words and I was shocked at how much of an effect this had on me from reading only a few pages. The author’s style of writing is so powerful and I was well and truly drawn in. We continue to flow back and forward in time, learning more crucial facts about the family’s journey, what they’ve lost and gained over the years and how two sisters were forced apart. Being so close to my own sister, I really felt for the characters in the book, and reading just made me want to go and see my sister and give her a huge hug! With such a captivating story and the opportunity to fill in the blanks with our own theories, I knew this one would stick with me, always!
“She’d not only lost a sister that day, she’d lost her best friend as well.”
I loved how a simple jar of cookies quickly became so symbolic and showed us the bond between the two sisters in the story, which was a unique addition and really quite heartwarming! This bond was apparent consistently all the way through and the final paragraph made me smile no end. Even immense loss for a person can, in turn, bring people together. I found so many lessons hidden away in these pages and I took a lot away from this story. An absolutely delightful read that anyone can read in half an hour! If you have siblings, a sister especially, I think you’ll be particularly taken with this book. ❤
“You know, maybe I didn’t need a husband after all.”
I’m currently reading a bigger novel, and this story was a nice little break to read after work! It relieved a bit of stress and even though there was a little bit of sadness within its pages, I still found it to be particularly uplifting overall. This was such a lovely short story, and I’m confident many others will enjoy this short read as much as I did!
Thank you so much to the author, Rachelle M. N. Shaw for my copy of this book to read and review! You can purchase your own copy of this short story over on Amazon available on Kindle! You can follow the author over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates!