Brief Encounters with Solitary Souls — Review: “4/4”

posted in: Books, My Books Reviewed | 0 says Brief Encounters with Solitary Souls : is ” … attention grabbing and expertly written.” 4/4

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Brief Encounters with Solitary Souls by Evy Journey is a collection of short stories. As the name implies, these stories all focus on a theme of being alone, and range from the story of a man traveling to France by himself to the story of a young woman trying to cope with the loss of her beloved grandmother. Journey has managed to expand on a simple theme to create five very different stories, each focusing on a different kind of loneliness.

Each of the five stories has excellent style, spelling and grammar. I normally find with a collection that some stories will be better written than others, but that is certainly not the case with this collection. Each story manages to pull the reader in within the first few sentences, and finish with just enough questions left unanswered to leave the reader wanting more. To create a collection of short stories where each is as well written as the last is truly an accomplishment. I also found that the style remained similar between all the stories despite them being completely unique in nature. This makes transitioning from one story to the next a completely painless experience.

I particularly liked “A Few Fast Heartbeats”. This story is about the people involved in a multi-vehicle accident one night. It describes a couple coming home from the hospital, a father who thinks he may have had a little too much to drink, and a woman who has recently lost her husband. All of these people come together in a high speed collision that they are helpless to stop once it has begun. It describes how alone they all feel in that moment despite being surrounded by other people. This one is my favourites because of the complexity of entwining lives like that, and also the very specific example of feeling alone and helpless in the middle of a crisis.

The characters in each of the stories are relatable in some way. We have all felt alone at some point in our lives. It could be that we are literally alone, or maybe we feel alone in our grief. Perhaps we feel alone in the face of conflict, or maybe we feel alone because no one can understand us. I think each of us can relate to more than one of these situations, and that is what makes these stories so great to read.

Overall, I rate this collection 4 out of 4 stars. I found no mistakes in the writing and all the stories are attention grabbing and expertly written. Because there is going to be at least one story that a reader will be able to relate to, I would happily recommend Brief Encounters with Solitary Souls to anyone.

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