How do the choices we make, willingly or not, define us?
A young man working in a menial job finds a way to grow closer to a lost love. A long-married couple’s relationship is tested by the arrival of a rare bird. With the benefit of hindsight, a woman recalls a childhood episode of acute appendicitis. An outing to a plant nursery brings simmering family tensions explosively to the surface. Two walkers on a beach, unused to the suddenness of a tropical nightfall, lose their way. The chance to grow flowers in a Cornish field brings two strangers together, allowing them both a chance to heal.
The characters in these stories find themselves at crossroads: for better or for worse, their lives are about to change. In settings which range from Cornwall’s hidden valleys to the grey, gold and green of Paris in spring, from Central Otago’s alpine lakes to the Milky Way’s river of light, come bids for freedom, transformations, and another chance to get things right.
Stars • The Rememberer • Three Roads • impressionism • Shepherd’s Bush Blues • Peregian • Par Temps de Pluie • Girls on motorbikes • A Bird So Rare • Over the Dam • Like Leaves • La Crue de la Seine • Error • Tissue • Flowers •
When I started reading I thought one or two of Emma Timpany’s stories would stand out for me, would remain with me longer than the others. At first I thought ‘ah, yes, that one’ I could picture the couple, I loved the ending that stopped it being mundane, normal and the chuckles became a broad grin bubbling over into laughter. There, I thought, that’s it but then another popped into my mind hot and full of youthful yearning. But wait! Then there’s the one were you say ‘I know that, wish I had a Jeremy’ a different kind of loss, the beginning of loss that ebbs and flows. Or the outrage you feel for one so young. But no, it’s this one the one were the need for aloneness in order to keep a lost love close reigns over everything. And then there’s the utter sense of loss that occurs in more than one story heart rending, painful but you can’t choose one over the other because, well because. The theme of loss maybe repeated but so is love – lost love, yes, but also young love, seeking love, older love, other love – they bring tears, laughter, joy and hope.
Then there’s the second reading because these stories deserve more than a single read. So you think ‘this one’ because the gut wrenching devastation settles in. There is such sadness and tears. You move through the stories remembering those moments, words, feelings but also finding more that touch you they were there before but you only feel them now. Then after all the emotional ups and downs there’s the one. The one that brings healing and hope ever after. Ah, yes that’s the one! But wait..
I love that so much can be said in so few words, that a connection can be so strong in such a short time. Beautifully, starkly constructed stories yet so expansive in meaning, in description and in how each reader is touched by them. Three roads – the authors, yours and mine – converge in the writing, the reading and such tri-via is always welcome.
I loved this set of short stories. Some will touch you, connect with you in one moment, others at another but they are all beautiful, all beautifully written, all have something to say you just have to hear it in your mind, in your heart or deep down in your soul.
Heart rending | Pain | Loss | Lost occasionally re-found | Aloneness |Outrage |Healing | Hopefulness | Love | Lost Love | Young Love | Older Love | Other Love | Joy | Hope | Laughter | Tears | Love always | Hope ever after |
Previously read: Travelling in the Dark
My thanks to Isabelle Kenyon for the kind invitation to be a part of this wonderful book promotion for Three Roads and other stories by Emma Timpany. My thanks also go to PostboxPress (Red Squirrel Press) for an eCopy of this book in order to review.
Author: Emma Timpany is from Dunedin, New Zealand. Her publications are Travelling in the Dark, Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing (co-editor), Over the Dam, and The Lost of Syros. Her novella, Travelling in the Dark, won the Hall and Woodhouse DLF Writing Prize 2009, and her stories have won awards including the Sara Park Memorial Short Story Competition and the Society of Authors’ Tom-Gallon Trust Award. She lives with her family in Cornwall.
Also by Emma Timpany
Travelling in the Dark (Fairlight Books, 2018)
Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing
(co-editor, The History Press, 2018).
The Lost of Syros (Cultured Llama Press, 2015) Over the Dam (Red Squirrel Press, 2015).
Books: Emma’s books
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