Sunday, 17 April 2011

'Storm Warning: Echoes of conflict', Vanessa Gebbie

Storm Warning by Vanessa Gebbie (cover)'Storm Warning: Echoes of Conflict', Vanessa Gebbie
This collection of twenty one short stories and flash fictions is an impressive exploration of human conflict, revealing the effects of war on ordinary people. Many of the stories are moving; some are uncomfortable and shocking. The opening story 'The Return of the Baker, Edwin Tregar' sees Edwin returning from the First World War to a hero's welcome in St. Just, Cornwall. Things are not as they seem however and Edwin is soon confronted by miner Jarvis, who claims, 'Edwin Tregar, he's a murderer.' Gebbie tells the story with economy and deftness - it's an excellent opening to the collection. 'The Salt Box' is a snapshot of a life lived on constant alert and 'Lay-By' sees Frank wheeling himself down an unfinished ramp to write 'a message to the world on the back of a dirty lorry.' My favourite stories are 'Road Kill', the story of animal rescuing old soldier George 'Sparks' Faraday, and 'Letters from Kilburn', a funny, touching and ultimately desperate series of letters exchanged between illegal immigrant Karim Hussien and the Queen's Deputy Secretary Sarah Williams.
Read reviews of 'Storm Warning: Echoes of Conflict' here and here.
Read interviews with Gebbie here and here.  

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