Sunday, July 10, 2016

Book Review: Aspects of Nature


        Book Review:

“It was a great experience to read the various stories of Aspects of Nature, as each of the stories had a powerful message to share.  We should all appreciate the people we meet and learn from them.  It was a magical experience of thoughtful and inspiring stories from beginning to the end.”  Jim Pagiamtzis, Author, Book Reviewer and speaker.

Like the many surfaces of a gemstone, the varied aspects of human experience link the short stories in this collection, titled Aspects of Nature. Themes of finding one’s identity; conflicts of family, career and romance; loneliness, death, loss, and feelings of displacement; youth and aging; courage and fear; human frailty; spirituality; compassion and manifestations of evil, all are at the heart of this collection. Of the eleven stories, the one bearing the collection’s name presents a satirical microcosm of our fragmented contemporary society, a candle-lit dinner party of six disparate guests at a Canadian cottage on an isolated island in the middle of a lake at the height of a Gothic storm.

 The remaining stories show aspects of nature in their diverse guises: a brilliant concert pianist courageously asserts life over evil; in a satirical affirmation of self, a middle-aged woman confronts a plastic surgeon urging a face lift; an elderly woman, trapped in her role as a mother and grandmother, offers an amusing, account of her inability to assert to her family what it is she desires; a seventy-year-old woman on her death bed makes plans for her next dinner party; a Holocaust survivor fashions random natural objects into sculptures, determined to impose order out of chaos; a forty-something woman finally confronts her doctor and, by extension, the male medical profession; an aging woman laments her loss of memory, her home, independence, youth, beauty; another, faces societal changes she no longer understands; a young pianist is conflicted by love for her master teacher; a young mother, forever explaining her husband and sons each to the other, seeks to fathom where her own self has disappeared.

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