Wednesday, 10 July 2013
The Scattering by Jaki McCarrick
The Scattering is the debut collection of short stories from Jaki McCarrick. There are 19 in all, set mainly in the border area of Eire and Northern Ireland though the location can move to London or the US, and backwards and forwards in time.
Borders of one sort or another run through a lot of the stories - between North and South, life and death, the 'real' world and the supernatural. Not firmly fixed or sharply defined borders either but shifting, ambiguous ones.
Many of the stories deal with the darker side of life - with pain and loss - which gives the collection a rather melancholy feel though with touches of dark humour.
The Past is ever present, too - sometimes in the guise of a 'golden time' from which people don't want to move on; more often in the legacy of the Troubles which still casts a shadow over people's lives.
Did I enjoy the book? I'm not sure 'enjoy' is the right word but certainly I was moved by many of the stories.
My favourite was The Tribe - in which a man travels back in time to try to prevent the destruction of Earth by Mankind. Does he succeed or is he stuck in the one of those loops that plague everyone trying to change history? It's for the reader to decide.
Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher - Seren Books
Genre - adult literary fiction, short stories
Buy The Scattering from Amazon