I’m delighted to be spotlighting Sarah Brentyn’s collection of short and micro fiction ~ Hinting at Shadows ~ and sharing two extracts from the book along with my review.
A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.
Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.
Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.
These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.
She never had a home.
Not as an infant, left in soiled diapers. Or as a child, drawing pictures on the dusty floor of her closet.
Not even when they took her to a real house with her own bedroom, a kitchen that had food in it, and two grown-ups who tucked her in at night.
She was broken.
Filled with so much shame she felt stuffed. Like a guilty scarecrow with clean clothes.
Maybe they rescued the wrong girl. Maybe if they had gotten her out when she was younger. Maybe then, she’d feel at home here.
She stared at the empty album wondering again what kind of flower decorated the cover before her mind tried to find the word for the color then thought about the emptiness again.
Round and round like the seasons. In and out and back again.
Peach. It was peach, that hue. Pink. And the flower, a rose. Or carnation. Daisy. The emptiness. Pink. Flowers. Like spring. With things that are alive trying to sprout from things that look dead.
The album was closed but she knew they took the fading photos—black and white memories she was starting to lose.
Hinting at Shadows looks at the darker side of humanity with evocative and fascinating descriptions of fractured minds, disintegrating relationships, and encompassing the spectrum of emotions, from sadness, loss, regret, hope and much more. Each piece of fiction, as the title suggests, hints at, or gives a brief glimpse of, the shadowy places in the minds and emotions of the individuals. The author’s haunting prose very cleverly invokes strong images with the minimum of words.
I’ve had the book a few days now and, rather than reading it straight through, I keep dipping into it and so am able to appreciate a few pieces at a time. Each time they have the power, even if I’ve read them before, to shock, sadden, give me chills, make me think and even smile on occasion.
Sarah Brentyn delivers something quite different, written beautifully with intuitive understanding and the ability to generate an emotional reaction.
She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.
When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.
She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives in New England with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.
And in her own words…
I wrote my first story when I was nine years old and have never looked back. My work has appeared both online and in print in lit mags, newsletters, websites, newspapers, and anthologies. I have a master’s degree in writing and have taught all ages from Kindergarteners to adults.
When other girls dreamt of being a ballerina, I dreamt of scribbling my thoughts in a notebook and turning them into a book. I bleed ink.