Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Short Story Collection
Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words
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“Kergan Edwards-Stout is an award-winning author, whose debut novel, Songs for the New Depression, won the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the LGBTQ category, was shortlisted for the Independent Literary Awards, and placed on four "Best Books of 2012" lists.”
For more, visit Edwards-Stout’s website.
“In Gifts Not Yet Given, a warm and nuanced collection of short stories, dreams are realized, hope is found, memories are made, and life is treasured. Each is set around a holiday, from Halloween to Memorial Day, Thanksgiving to Christmas, and the tales illuminate the small, surprising, and pivotal moments in which personal awakenings occur and hearts expand.”
There isn’t a lot to say about this collection that isn’t in the description other than to say it lives up to its promise. Excellent, well written stories that evoke a wide range of emotions from the reader. An example, and one of my favorites, is the story call Festive Beaver, the story of an elementary school boy who discovers talents and inclinations that he doesn’t yet understand while helping put together a Mardi Gras celebration.
In many of the stories, I found that I figured things out before they were fully revealed or the story’s focal character discovered things on their own. This set the stories up in such a way that I was pulling for the character, not only to discover or learn what they needed to, but also to do so in the least painful possible way. The ability to pull me into a short story as quickly and deeply as these did is a talent I don’t see often in shorter works.
A few of the stories have gay characters. If that makes you uncomfortable, this might not be the book for you.
No significant issues
Rating: **** Five Stars