`Stories for Homes' - such a great idea. An anthology of all-new stories and poems with Home-based themes, written and donated free by established and up-and-coming authors to entertain and raise money for Shelter, the charity for housing and the homeless. No less than 63 separate tales and verses to tug at your heartstrings or tickle your funny bone - and all for under a fiver!
I'm so enjoying reading my way through this eclectic collection. The opening tale by Mandy Berriman, `A Home Without Moles,' is such a delight. It is narrated by the four- or five-year-old Jessika who has her own unique vocabulary of words spelt just has she has heard them; I particularly liked the leaking rainy-hater that her mum had to patch up with chewing-gum. Her baby brother's fection isn't going to get better unless they can move to a home without moles. You'll probably need to read the story for yourself to work that one out.
Frances Gapper's `Babylon' tells us of the home make-over from hell and Jo Lidbetter takes us to the Far East for a disturbing story of the aftermath of war.
Sarah Evans, in `Motherhood,' captures so perfectly the competing emotions of aging parents when their adult daughter returns to the nest like some cuckoo determined on her own ways and oblivious to the disruption she is causing.
In the first of the poems to be included, Mark Aram neatly contrasts the pros and cons of `Home' and concludes:
`Home can follow you around like a friendly cat or a heavy rucksack.'
I know this anthology will follow me around until I have devoured all it has to offer; I still have many pleasant hours of reading ahead of me. Why not join me in this wonderful trip through the skilful imaginations of gifted writers and help Shelter in the excellent work they are doing every day writing their own real life stories for homes?
I bought this anthology primarily to support Shelter, but didn't expect such a huge range of beautiful stories.
I'm about 2/3 of the way through, but just wanted to encourage others to buy it. The theme works so well, drawing together a mixture of genres and styles to bring us all right down to almost the very bottom of Marlow's Hierarchy of Needs - home. Without naming any favourite stories, the overall result is sobering and uplifting in equal parts: an important reminder that what we all seek most is the very same thing.
Reading my way through this fantastic anthology -the fact that the proceeds go towards Shelter is enough of a reason to purchase (for me) but what a bonus that this is such a sparkling high calibre offering as well! I laughed, I cried, I pondered, and I enjoyed - still am enjoying as I haven't finished. Incredibly diverse stories but every one excellent. Do yourself a favour and buy it - think of all those cosmic brownie points, AND you get a stonking good read.