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[Book Review] The Weight of a Feather and Other Stories by Judy Croome

Plot Synopsis: From the classical form of ‘The Weight of a Feather’, first published by The Huffington Post (2013), to the suggestive allegory of ‘The Leopard and The Lizard’, this collection of short stories by South African author Judy Croome is an ideal mix of the familiar and the startling.

These vibrant slices of life testify to the mysterious and luminous resources of the human spirit. Whether feeling the harrowing emotion in ‘The Last Sacrifice’ or the jauntiness of ‘Jannie Vermaak’s New Bicycle’, the reader will delight in a plethora of stories that cross boundaries to both challenge and entertain with their variety.

“The promise implicit in an anthology is that it aspires to present something different, unexpected” - Joyce Carol Oates (Introduction to The Oxford Book of American Short Stories)

Author: Judy Croome

Genre: Short Story anthology

Length: 200 pages

Publisher: Aztar Press; 1 edition (October 22, 2013)

Review: by Lee

I'm usually not one for short stories, but I figured I would give The Weight of a Feather and Other Stories a shot because, let's face it, I thought "The Weight of a Feather" sounded pretty cool.  I also really liked the cover art, and I hoped the old advice "don't judge a book by its cover" wouldn't come back to haunt me.

What I Liked:

Judy Croome definitely has a way with words.  Her descriptions were quite vivid and truly created new worlds.  I am largely unfamiliar with South Africa, but her stories made me feel like I was there.  Also, her characters were unforgettable.  Each unique and round, they effectively brought her stories to life.

What I Didn’t Like:

As sound as the quality of Judy Croome’s writing was, the subject matter was definitely not up my alley.  I’m the kind of person who wants a happy ending every time, or at least a neutral one.  I like to feel good after I’ve read something.  I know that reality is not always happy, but that’s the exact reason I usually stick to fiction.  I use books to transport myself away from reality.

Arguably, the stories nowhere near mimicked my reality, but the situations and events in almost every story included in The Weight of a Feather and Other Stories were dismally depressing or disturbing.

No matter how wonderfully and creatively an author describes the sacrificial rape and slaughter of a young woman, I still do not want to read about it.

I hoped very much that I would come across a happy story that would redeem the collection for me, but the happiest stories were about seemingly fat people turning on a fan and a man who sold his wife for a bike.

You can purchase this book at Amazon, for your Kindle, or at Barnes & Noble.

Author Bio:  Judy Croome lives and writes in Johannesburg, South Africa. Shortlisted in the African Writing Flash Fiction 2011 competition, Judy’s short stories and poems have appeared in various magazines and anthologies, such as the Huffington Post and the University of the Witwatersrand’s Itch Magazine. Her books “The Weight of a Feather & Other Stories” (2013), “a Lamp at Midday” (2012) and “Dancing in the Shadows of Love” (2011) are available. Judy loves her family, cats, exploring the meaning of life, chocolate, cats, rainy days, ancient churches with their ancient graveyards, cats, meditation and solitude. Oh, and cats. Judy loves cats (who already appear to have discovered the meaning of life.) She is currently researching child murders for her next novel and you can visit Judy on or join her on Twitter @judy_croome

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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