Beeaff probes the many meanings of life in this revelatory collection of short stories and novella about love, loss, and otherness. After winning a prestigious award in short fiction, the very talented Erica Winchat lands a 2-book deal but finds herself struggling to come up with anything worthwhile to write. Seeking inspiration, she sets on a trip to Scotland with her husband. The Traigh Lar Beach proves to be the perfect spark to kindle her writing passion, where she finds her inspiration in thirteen objects scattered on the beach such as a packet of arthritis pills, a cigarette lighter, a jar of pickled onions, the handle of a child’s bucket, among them a rock-concert laminate badge among others. In “Melody Rose,” a broken, old man finds temporary happiness in his bond with a little girl, who feels neglected by her mother after her baby brother’s birth. In “Brook,” a CNA working in hospice care finds her own way of ending the patients’ sufferings. The absurd tragedy in “Red” is heartbreaking. The novella, “Fan Girls,” explores the liberating, life-aletring power of art as it follows four women’s obsession with Raine, the lead singer in a fictional 80s rock band called Dartha. The complex themes of self-discovery, grief, physical violence, mental abuse, suicide, rape, murder, and addiction underline the various stories. Beeaff handles difficult topics with sensitivity, making for a heart-tugging read, and her expert use of language enhances the realities of her characters’ lives. Readers are sure to be sucked in.
Categories: literary fiction