|Far Away in Time, Maria Savva's latest |
collection of short stories
Saturday, 12 April 2014
Review: Far Away in Time by Maria Savva
Maria Savva has released a new collection of short stories, Far Away in Time. I have enjoyed her previous collections, Love and Loyalty, and more recently, 3. Some of the tales in Far Away in Time are of a somewhat darker nature, which appeals to me; the opener, The Ghost of Christmas Past, paves the way. Roland recalls a tragedy which occurred at that special time of year, and of how the subsequent guilt has changed his life. This bleak but thought-provoking story is followed by Far Away in Time Parts 1 and 2, wherein the reader meets Mr Silverfrost, 'the old man with the very white hair and the strange squint'. Memories blur the present; is he really who Angie remembers? Why has Carrie got no recollection of him? What is the liquid in the phial that seems to have such magical properties? When she inadvertently prevents a crime, Angie finds herself a helpless passenger in a confusing cycle of events. I wonder if there might be a Part 3 in Maria's next collection... Echoes of her Dreams is the poignant tale of Charlene, a selfless mother who puts her own life on hold in order to help others. She dreams of experiencing more of the big wide world, but finds her true calling is closer to home. Can the dead contact the living from beyond the grave? In A Sign, this longstanding riddle is pondered in a sensitive way. Grace makes a discovery in her new house, which unlocks events from the past, setting a series of events in motion which lead ultimately to some kind of redemption. Following on, Tragedy of Love is powerfully concise. Philip delays making his move with Selene, with tragic consequences; this tale makes the reader feel there's no time like the present. The Beach is next, and would not be out of place in an anthology of strange tales. Mike and Toyah have enjoyed a holiday by the sea. Afterwards, Mike has a vivid nightmare which comes back to haunt him from from an unexpected source. Savva's description of panic in the surf is hard-hitting, conjuring a strong image which will stay with me for some time. Finally, Betrayal tells the story of a complex set of circumstances combining to make Desiree realise the truth behind her family's relationship. Does she know the real reason behind her father and stepmother's change of heart towards her? Or will it be too late for any kind of resolution? These are intelligent, well-written stories about real people confronting real issues, confronting the past and looking to the future; and, as ever, I look forward very much to Maria Savva's next collection.