Review: When I saw this in my queue, I was looking forward to reading another work by Oliver Frances, whose title “Summer Love,” I had previously reviewed. His writing is often contemplative, and what some might call subtle. Sometimes the concept or actual message by the author isn’t easy to discern. Often there is the suggestion the author is actually speaking to the reader directly in the narrative, yet you question also, whether this is a character’s thoughts and feelings. In this particular case, this set of three tales, the author is telling the stories line by line. Not the most effective way, but you get the sense of what is being presented more readily.
Honestly, for native English readers, if you don’t have an understanding of someone writing in a language other than their mother tongue, certainly one might feel perplexed by the prose. Conversely, one might look at it from another angle, and believe an author should know more exactly what readers might want. I don’t agree with the latter, Oliver Frances has a unique style and voice all his own. Some get it, some don’t. To me, it’s important for each reader to decide this entirely on their own, for when exposed to too few writers from a variety of background and nationalities, I think it’s self-limiting, simply put.
That being said, each story in “Heart” read more like a prologue of a book, or possibly a long description. I wanted the details to be fleshed more, and not simply told that so-and-so happened and this person did this or another. I enjoy short stories more often these days, as many authors can provide a great story with a minimum of words, but I was left wondering what really was the point of collection. The stories aren’t bad but they lacked depth for me even though several interesting ideas were mentioned, but brevity wasn’t the issue. “Heart” would appeal to some, but understandably not to others.
Description: Heart is a collection of three stories about just love. It features “The Little Ugly Duck”, Cynthia’s remarkable beauty makes her gain fame and admiration but not love, consequently disappointment and sadness are the prize for such a comeliness. Unexpectedly she finds love in the most unthinkable place after suffering a terrible accident which turns upside down her own existence.
“The Writer”, a young lady whose big expectations about love are those depicted in fairy tales and simple love can’t fulfill her wish. Ironically a writer that builds worlds of fiction, but whose life isn’t led in the lines of his fantasy, is the man who shows her what true and real love is about.
And the last story that completes the collection is “A Marriage of Convenience”, one story of a girl and boy, from Italian families respectively, who find the most sought in life -without searching for, and they do not by a lovely casualness but by one unpleasant fact.