by John Hanlon
This is a collection of four short stories in a slim volume of 110 pages; with an attractive cover, quality paper, and the font size suiting the likely readership – mature adults who appreciate plainly-told stories and are not averse to a twist at the end.
The first of the four, the title story “Love and Magic”, is amusing and satisfying. The tale of Kate and Mahmoud the Magnificent will surely stay in the mind of any reader.
And if that’s right, I find it’s at least doubly so in the case of the second. “Growing Old With Richard”, has an ending that could well haunt me for some time to come.
Dare I read the next? Of course I do. Quite a different experience this time with “Yin and Yang” – satisfying again, though in a dubious-but-I’d-like-to-think-it-could-happen sort of way.
Each of the stories has in common a couple and their relationship – the nature and the quality of the love varying.
The fourth, “Forgotten Heroes”, is set more obviously in New Zealand. Another is located in Sydney, with the others less precise in their settings. The details of one story places it, time-wise, in the 1960s and the others have a similar feel to them.
Apart from wanting to push the delete button on many adverbs, I found each one easy to read and competently written. Together, they make up a modest collection that would make a good gift for an older relative – man or woman.
Author: John Hanlon
Publisher: Woven Words