This collection of short stories from the author collective, Triskele gets off to a strong start with The Love of Julius, an imaginative love story set in ancient Egypt. It is movingly written from the point of view of the two characters, Meskenit, and Julius. The Island is a rural crime story with a powerful loss-of-innocence theme, written in the first person. Downer also told in the first person is another historical story, set in the Industrial Revolution in a mill town. Ruby, an orphaned teenager, is taken in by a so-called friend of the family in this poignant tale of female exploitation. In Blind Spot, Carolyn learns to stop hiding behind a mask and accept herself for who she really is. A Life Not Lost is another compelling tale, a world war two story set in France during world war two. A Jewish artist, rounded up by the Nazis, clings to the hope that at least his work will live on. Signature Dish takes the tasting theme to another level in this rags-to-riches revenge tale of Jean-Francis, pastry chef to the Paris elite.
The Boy with the Bird is the penultimate story and is a cleverly told urban fairy tale written in the third person from the point of view of Alya, the central character. The collection concludes with The Stone Boat, an intriguing story from JJ Marsh that challenges and teases the reader to puzzle out its many layers of meaning.
A highly accomplished, well crafted and edited short story collection by a group of talented writers. Loosely themed as a taster of the works of the authors, they have included a recipe to go with each story. This reader will be starting with the Ancient Egyptian Honey Cake and the Breton galettes. Five stars and highly recommended.