This collection of young adult short stories is engaging, spanning varying social and cultural issues. The first concerns a girl escaping from potential trafficking. I particularly like the style of the beginning; short sentences and fragments reflect almost a stream of consciousness. This gives way to a more traditional narrative style in parts of the story. The weather is used for effect charmingly: ‘The sun excited the whole hillside until the flowers, the trees, the bushes and the grass, all burst into colour.’ The first person narrative is insistently present with an almost visual pattern in the continual use of ‘I’. This creates an urgency which draws the reader into the character’s very present danger.
The second story adopts the perspective of a teenager training for the Paralympics. The author uses voice credibly; the character feels relate-able and genuine. This story is particularly impressive for its shifting focus and the way it presents a rounded view of the character and her concerns. The brevity of the paragraphing here intelligently reflects her young character’s thoughts.
The other two stories are futuristic with biblical themes. Both used imagery strongly and would interest some readers. The use of diary form in ‘Meg’s Diary’ is interesting and gives a certain pace and intrigue. Fiona Linday is clearly adept at writing in varied styles and knows the craft well. The mix of genres in this collection means there are aspects that will appeal to all.
Thanks to Fiona Linday for sending me a copy to review. Find out more here.