Welcome to the first blog post in my reading list series, where I regularly search for novels-in-stories (linked short story collections, short story cycles) to read and maybe opinionate a little bit about.
I try to select short story cycles that I feel are close to what I want to write myself, but obviously, that’s not always going to be the case. Sometimes you can and should just read stuff because you feel it resonates with you. Anyway, this one looks promising. It even starts with a story with Great Gatsby references, which I kinda dig 🙂
In time, I’d like this blog series to become a pretty big index of all the linked short story collections that I love to read, and which I think my readers would love as well. So without further ado …
From the blurb on Amazon:
In Garden for the Blind, trouble lurks just outside the door for Kelly Fordon’s diverse yet interdependent characters. As a young girl growing up in an affluent suburb bordering Detroit, Alice Townley witnesses a tragic accident at her parents’ lavish party. In the years that follow, Alice is left mostly in the care of the household staff, free to forge friendships with other pampered and damaged teens. When she and her friend Mike decide to pin a crime on another student at their exclusive high school, the consequences will reverberate for years to come.
Set between 1974 and 2012, Fordon’s intricately woven stories follow Alice and Mike through high school, college, and into middle age, but also skillfully incorporate stories of their friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers who are touched by the same themes of privilege, folly, neglect, and resilience. A WWII veteran sleepwalks out of his home at night, led by vivid flashbacks. A Buddhist monk is assaulted by a robber while seated in meditation. A teenaged girl is shot walking home from the corner store with a friend. A lifelong teacher of blind children is targeted by vandals at the school she founded.
Garden for the Blind visits suburban and working-class homes, hidden sanctuaries and dangerous neighborhoods, illustrating the connections between settings and relationships (whether close or distant) and the strange motivations that keep us moving forward. All readers of fiction will enjoy the nimble unfolding of Fordon’s narrative in this collection.
Check it out on Goodreads and buy it from your favorite outlet.