So, it's been a hot minute since I last updated...my bad. It's been a hell of a year, lots of really terrible stuff happened, lots of really wonderful things happened. One day soon, I'll do an actual update. I promise. this post has a very specific purpose, I'm so excited to share!
Those who know me know that I love reading. I love big books and I cannot lie. I'm a junkie for the written word. I'm constantly reading something, a lot of my favorites have seen multiple readings. Imagine my delight and surprise when I was asked to read a book before it was released to the public. It honestly felt like I was asked to attend a screening of a movie. I read it, I loved it, and now I'm going to review it!
Title: so my mother, she lives in the clouds (and other stories)
Author: Christopher D. Dicicco
I am a person who judges books by their cover. I know we aren't supposed to do that, we are taught from a young age that judging books by their covers is a terrible way to live. I can't help it, I am stimulated visually. So my mother...is a gorgeous book. If I saw it on a shelf I would totally pick it up. Look at this beautiful cover!
Most of the stories in this book are heartbreaking. I recommend having some sort of comfort object nearby while reading, because reading these stories will give you the feels. In spades. My favorite story, Pieces of my Junkyard Father, describes a boy who lost his mother, and a gruff father trying to keep them both alive. It tugged at my heartstrings, seemingly a story about a boy and the dog his dad brought home for him. In the end (no spoilers) we find that the father is desperate to help his boy adjust to life after mom.
Dicicco paints a vivid picture in each story, each setting completely unique, drawing you into the scene. Then, most endings are left purposefully vague, giving the reader the opportunity to end the story as they see fit. Another favorite of mine was In your father's backyard. I was convinced that it was going to end one way, and it went a totally different direction. I love that about these stories. You think you have him figured out, then he turns everything on it's edge.
In the spirit of transparency, I will admit it took me longer than normal to finish this book. Reason being, I wasn't able to zip through like I normally do. Each story provoked thought: was there a higher meaning at the bottom of the well, what would I find at the bottom of the ladder, what question would I have Lev answer in his sleep? Not only was my brain kept active with each story, but there was also a heaviness throughout the book. Emotional baggage that seemed to expand the further I went along. At one point I asked myself if Simon was real, and if he were the same Simon in each story, how much did his therapist charge him?
In closing, I highly recommend this collection of short stories, if only to wake up your heart and force you to feel something.
Once the book is released, I will provide links for purchasing your very own copy!