The final review from our shared short story project with review team member Jenni and her first year English students at University College Cork. You can catch up with the first two posts about this here and here.
Three authors kindly offered their short story collections to the students to help with this project. The books were:
The Shivering Ground is a collection of 11 independent short stories by author Sara Barkat. Reading the collection feels like drinking a nice cup of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace, while the heavy rain of a winter night is rapping against the window. Throughout every one of the short stories, Barkat dissects complex human feelings such as the part of childhood when imagination meshes with reality, the intricate relationship between siblings, and never-to-be lovers. The stories follow varied settings: from a little girl exploring her house to post-war prison filled with uneasiness and tragedy. Conditions takes the reader to the house of a scientist who revives animals by electric shocks of energy, The Mannequin is set in a dystopic society where pain can be nullified by surgery. Noticing is set in a place where time and space do not matter anymore and mysterious entities named “the watchers” take notes of every invention ever made by humankind.
The Shivering Ground is simply splendidly written and reflects through metaphors on the condition of being human and the conflicts in life, and the meaning of feeling and being alive in any society. Reading The Shivering Ground can transport you to a different cosmos, meeting incredible, memorable characters. Barkat’s writing is like combining prose and poetry; she’s a strong new provocative voice and has the power, through this collection of short stories, to make you think and reflect. The collection is a must-read.
4 STARS. by Zoe M