Came as ‘Me’ Left as ‘We’ is aptly named considering this is the theme of most, but not all, of its 21 short stories, published by Alfie Dog Fiction. I found many within the collection to be evocative and moving, with a few bringing a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. Unfortunately, as is often the case in these situations, some didn’t quite match up to others in terms of pace and narrative ability. One or two seemed rambling, losing their point and my interest along the way. That said, there were others that stood out from their counterparts and were a joy to read.
Among those I elected to highlight as a particular favourite is The End-of-the-Pier Show, by Derek Haycock, which is compelling and uses beautifully crafted dialogue to communicate the complex dynamics of a long-term relationship, suffering under the holiday weather of a British seaside town. Sam Something by Kate Blackadder (great name) and Gill McKinlay’s Celebrity Kennels incorporate humour as a way of dealing with the repercussions of gossip and a means of relaying our apparent obsession with television, respectively. Finally, Something to Move You, by Alice Parrant, covers the difficult subject of dementia, which, despite the solemnity, is filled with warmth and poignancy.
If you’re looking for an easy read, while relaxing around the pool on holiday or simply taking a break for coffee, this could serve as the perfect accompaniment.