By Emma Timpany
Emma Timpany is a New Zealand-born writer who currently lives in Cornwall, England, where she has been successful with her entries in several short story competitions.
This collection is slim but all 16 stories are worth reading as their author shows herself to have mastered the genre.
They are well constructed, the situations and observations perceptive, and the writing is well-judged – not verbose or overdone. Word use is well chosen to reveal scenes and evoke thoughts and memories in the reader.
The diagnosis is pleurisy. Outside, a gorgeous spring’s dispensing its own medicine, a string of warm blue days. Katie’s told to rest and eat, and do nothing else. I fill her room with bluebells. She says they smell like honey. An elderly maid, her skin as crumpled and brown as a walnut shell, brings Katie gooseberry jam on thin slices of buttered bread cut into little triangles. Food to lure fairies from their lairs, Katie calls it.
Many are of the stories are set in New Zealand, but there are other locations to provide variety. The title story, for instance, is a memory of a holiday in the Greek Islands, recalled from its narrator’s residence in London.
Lengths vary from under three pages to ten pages – none too long for their subjects. The choice of narration in each case is appropriate. The order in which they are placed, and the interior design could be tweaked, but these are minor quibbles in a collection of well-written stories.
Author: Emma Timpany
Publisher: Cultured Llama Publishing
RRP: RRP £12.00
Available: Print from www.culturedllama.co.uk, Amazon, The Book Depository, Waterstone's and other online retailers.