Book Review of Leicester Writes Short Story Prize Anthology 2020

I’m not completely sure where my obsession with short stories started from but it is fairly new I think and I’m now so interested in reading them. This book is in its fourth year. I’ve read the first two books, somehow missed out on getting the 2019 one and have just recently finished this on. There are twenty stories and although they are all amazing, I have picked out some of the ones that left a lasting impression.

The Taste of Sugar – Joe Bedford

This was a beautiful recall of different cafes a couple visited and met up at and how the mood of the meeting was reflected in what they ate. On the death of the woman, the man goes back to these cafes remembering some things and noticing how things have also changed. I love the idea of meeting up in different cities and going for coffee and cake.

Required Reading – Laura Blake

This was such a great idea having a book club with famous women who just pop over with their personalities to talk about the book and being fussy about how they take their tea. I loved this story of people dead and alive and how they would interact with each other and what they thought of our lives as we lead them right now. It was lovely.

Packing like a Brownie Guide – Judith Wilson

This had an unexpected twist. I love how she likes everything to be neat and organised and beautiful. Because of the number of trips she seems to make for work, she does have a lot of packing to do but it doesn’t always seem to be her own bag and her obsession for packing gets out of control. 

Black and White Blues – Richard Hooton

This was so interesting to see how depression can affect a person. It’s not just feeling a bit sad that you can snap out of it or going outside for a walk will help. The stuff that goes on in some people’s mind when they are struggling is hard to understand but this story gives a beautiful description of it. It also shows how taking medicine can help. A lovely story and it left a lasting impression. 

All the stories are good but I guess some stories leave a lasting impression with layers of meaning that you keep going back to and thinking about it. Other stories, meanwhile, leave you with a sense of familiarity, something that you can relate to which is why you love the story. Some stories are a little out of my depth and I decided that I don’t really want to understand them at the moment but may come back to it later. A few others that I like include Mooly, Sarika and Me and The Reddifers.

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