I think that Peg Alford’s collection of short stories is special. She writes descriptively and through her work, I have learned that short stories or flash fiction do not need a dramatic ending to be complete. Show Her A Flower, A Bird, A shadow has encouraged me to write just from observing my surroundings and by describing what I see.
One thing that I am curious about is how the main characters are created in the stories. Particularly, I saw a repetition of “a girl” in many of the stories. I want to know if the author intended to connect all the stories by repeating this character or if it is a different girl in each story.
In some stories there are mysterious endings that made me curious to know more. For example, in the story titled “The Girl and The stone.” After reading the story about how a boy struck a girl with a stone and she would not get up, I asked myself “So did she die?” “Did the boy get caught?” I also noticed that the titles of the stories are simple. The titles are brief summaries of the content or plot of the stories. For example, the story titled “The Girl and The stone” is about a girl that was struck by a stone.
In addition, I admire how the stories are succinct and how they have very few “he said” or “she said.” I was drawn to understanding the story from a reader’s perspective rather than trying to put myself in the characters shoes.
There are some lines in the short stories that are poetic. Since I enjoy poetry and I am trying to write more short stories, I can employ peg’s techniques of combining both genres.
My favorite story in the book is “Girl on a Hobby Horse.” It emphasizes the importance of life outside habits and what we think is urgent. The first line of “Girl on a Hobby Horse” immediately hooked my attention;
“When my relationship of fourteen years broke, I learned many new unnecessary things.”
With this story, I realized how important the first line is to gaining a reader’s attention.
Overall, I enjoyed reading the book.
PS: I am developing my story writing skills so, my review on short stories and on novels may reflect what I have learned and what I will be practicing.