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The Weight of a Feather: and Other Stories…

The Weight of a Feather: and Other Stories

by Judy Croome

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I’ve been a sucker for short stories ever since I discovered Edgar Allen Poe as a young teenager, so when Judy Croome offered to share a collection of her stories, I couldn’t resist. It isn’t really an appropriate choice for my blog, but it was an enjoyable break, definitely worth sharing in a casual review.

Leslie (my blog partner) asked me as I was reading what the book was about. I said it was about life, and that seemed to satisfy her. But the question remained with me: What is your book about, Judy? My mind wandered back to another book I reviewed of Croome’s, a haunting spiritual journey titled Dancing in the Shadows of Love. It, too, was about life, and I found myself captivated by Croome’s short story collection in the same way.

Croome is a very good writer. Her stories are imaginative and engaging, they play heavily on the element of surprise, but more than that, they leave you full of feelings. Icky feelings, happy feelings, sad feelings, nervous feelings. Her characters–all of them–are simultaneously common and peculiar, a little like peeking into the closet of your smiling next door neighbor. A little like if you were to peek into your own heart. It’s scary stuff.

Some stories appear to have been published before, and some appear to be originals, but they’re all great reads. Highly recommended!

Aztar Press, © 2013, 193 pages

ISBN: 978-0-987047-3-0 ( )
  DubiousDisciple | Nov 6, 2014 |
I love a good short story anthology, and this book didn’t let me down. Each story was well written and short enough so that if I needed to stop to do something else, I could without struggling to get to the end, since I don’t like stopping in the middle of a chapter. The only problem with that is that I read a lot in bed before going to sleep, and I kept telling myself “the stories are short, I can read one more” over and over (not that I’m complaining).

There is such a variety of themes to the stories in this book that you never get bored. You’re in one place and time one minute, and a completely different place and time the next. It kept me excited to see what the next story would be.

I think everyone, even those not to keen on short stories would enjoy this book. It would be great to carry with you to read during short breaks and when you have a free moment here and there.

This will be a book I read again and again. ( )
  VickiLN | Feb 10, 2014 |
I read Weight of a feather in exchange for honest review from Charisma Media. The Weight of a Feather: and Other Stories, written by Judy Croome, is a collection of short stories. The stories range from one page to 10 pages long. I wanted to review the book because I haven't read short stories in a while.

The first story is Weight of a feather, which is about a little girl and her birds, who she considers her friends. I also liked One Lonely Road, which is about a farmer starting a new life in the city. Another favorite was The Biter Bit. The story starts out with a wife fussing at her husband for stealing money from a homeless man for a lotto ticket. The Fan is about a husband, who wants his wife to turn on the fan to beat the heat. I feel like him right now. It is hot and my fan isn't getting the room cool enough.

The book is well-written and descriptive. ( )
  staciewyatt | Jan 24, 2014 |
I received this book through the LT member Giveaway.

While it took me a few stories to get used to Croome's writing style and rhythm, I ended up enjoying most of the short stories (some of my favorites include "Crabwalk", "Burnt Offerings", "Rainbow Farm, or the Ghost of Christmases Past", "Jannie Vermaak's New Bicycle", "Autumn Tears", and "The Lottery Ticket". These stories range from leas than a page to 10 pages and cover many themes and emotions.

I also really loved reading about a place that I know virtually nothing about: South Africa. The names of people, places, and bits of Afrikaans dialogue really immersed me into the stories.

I thought the "Flash Fictions" were a little jarring; I would have preferred to have them either all in one section, or even a different book of short poems and fictions (I would definitely read that!). Also, I felt that some of the stories dragged on and were a little heavy-handed in their symbolism and/or message, but Croome's writing is very lyrical so that kept me reading.

All in all, a very solid collection of stories that create a beautiful, and sometimes harsh, portrait of South Africa. ( )
  kaylaraeintheway | Jan 16, 2014 |
The variety of stories was a breathe of fresh air. It made the reading enjoyable. The only drawback was the poetry like fiction. It disrupted the flow of stories and left me extremely confused. My favorite story was "The Blue Mountains." A very strong female character I rooted for. ( )
  Lizdugan | Dec 15, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0987044737, Paperback)

“The promise implicit in an anthology is that it aspires to present something different, unexpected” ~ Joyce Carol Oates (Introduction to The Oxford Book of American Short Stories) From the classical form of 'The Weight of a Feather', first published by The Huffington Post (2013), to the suggestive allegory of 'The Leopard and The Lizard', this collection of short stories by South African author Judy Croome is an ideal mix of the familiar and the startling. These vibrant slices of life testify to the mysterious and luminous resources of the human spirit. Whether feeling the harrowing emotion in 'The Last Sacrifice' or the jauntiness of 'Jannie Vermaak’s New Bicycle', the reader will delight in a plethora of stories that cross boundaries to both challenge and entertain with their variety.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:58 -0400)

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Judy Croome's book The Weight of a Feather and Other Stories was available from LibraryThing Member Giveaway.

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