Review by Krystal Sital of (Vine Leaves Literary Journal Review Team)
"One of the best books I’ve read in a long time, The Weight of a Feather and
Other Stories is a gripping and haunting collection of short stories. It will
send you spinning but never, not once, will you be lost or confused. Croome is
a master storyteller, seamlessly transitioning from one story to the next, from
one perspective to the next without ever disorienting her readers. With each
story comes a breath of fresh air, a new beginning. Both vast and varied, she
covers the realms of mythology, fantasy, realism, and so many more. Even though
different perspectives are employed—male, female, young, old, animal—as a
reader, you’re never confused moving from one text to the other.
One can almost (but not quite) judge a collection based on its first short
story. Was it captivating? Was there substance? Did it make you want to delve
deeper? Yes. Yes! YES! How quickly Croome is able to suck you into the lives of
these characters and the places they dwell is not only an art form she’s
perfected, but a gift. Judy Croome is a talented writer who has honed her
skills to the point of perfection. In the first story, as in all the ones that
follow, everything is revealed in time, never before it needs to be. There is
something profoundly lugubrious yet intriguing that the protagonist—an
eight-year-old girl—has two best friends who are animals on her parents' farm.
The lesson a child is forced to learn at such a tender age (and on her birthday
no less) is something I’m sure every reader will carry with them for years to come.
Much like poetry, short and flash fiction are restricted because of the need to
be concise and compact. This is accomplished flawlessly with the progression of
each story from the very title to the very end. Titles like “Born Beneath a
Balsamic Moon,” both alliterative and compelling delivers quite the poetic
punch. “Heroes Day,” is action packed and driven, an exhilarating read from
beginning to end.
Dialogue, utilized sparingly in short pieces, is something Croome does not shy
away from in her work. Some stories are dialogue driven and extremely well
done. Through voice, characters are captured succinctly without ever
interrupting the flow of the narrative. This is just another vehicle for her to
deliver crucial information to the reader.
With incredible momentum, engaging dialogue, vivid imagery, and above all,
powerful character, this collection is a recipe for success. Readers and
writers alike will benefit from adding this compilation to their
Judy Croome is a fantastic storyteller. She takes the reader on a journey through life and its various nuances. All of Croome’s stories have a message that the reader can take away, the sign of a brilliant short story. The anthology starts off with ‘The Weight of a Feather’, which deals with the sudden milestones of growing up. Learning curves which are not necessarily forgivable.
In a flowing but often brutal style the characters and their tangible emotions leap off the pages. Even stories like ‘The Biter Bit’ and ‘The Negotiation’, short as they are, reverberate with your conscience a long while later. Such is the beauty and poignancy of the author’s writing and the versatility of the genre.
Sarah Jayne (Jan 25, 2014 *****)
Wow is what I say when I talk about The Weight of a Feather. When hearing the words short stories my immediate thought is stories that are quick but do not have enough detail in them to be enjoyable, although since reading this book my whole perception has changed. The stories were deep sometimes intense and they didn't falter. Goldy's Locks was ones of those intense ones, a wife recalling her husband who is now dead and how long they had been married. It wasn't all rosy and one day she couldn't take it anymore.
Another story about a teenage boy talking to his mother, trying to understand why she walked out on him and his father. Did that mean she didn't love him? another deep story that pulled at my heartstrings.
If I had to sum this book up in one word I would use the word Remarkable.
Mollydee (Nov 20, 2013 *****)
This book is a collection of 45 short stories all written at different times. I honestly can say a book has never touched me so. Every story spoke to me. There was a little something to be taught or remembered or mulled over in each story. There was not one bad one in the bunch.
The back of the book has some excerpts from her other works. That was wonderful to read also. I intend now to read all of her works.
What I love was in the "About The Author" section in the back of the book where it states "The driving motivation of her writing is the search of love in all its forms. Judy writes because she believes words have great power: they can bring comfort, joy, and hope. They can reveal secrets and lies. And, while they may not change the world, they can - at their best - change people's lives, even if only for a moment."
Isn't that beautiful? Read this book you will not be disappointed.
Judy Croome lives and writes in Johannesburg, South Africa. Shortlisted in the African Writing Flash Fiction 2011 competition, Judy’s short stories and poems have appeared in various magazines and anthologies, both local (Itch) and international (The Huffington Post). The author of a collection of poetry “a Lamp at Midday” (2012) and a spiritual novel “Dancing in the Shadows of Love” (2011), Judy is currently researching child murders for her next novel. Judy loves her family, cats, exploring the meaning of life, chocolate, cats, rainy days, ancient churches with their ancient graveyards, cats, meditation and solitude. Oh, and cats. Judy loves cats (who already appear to have discovered the meaning of life.) Visit www.judycroome.com or follow on Twitter @judy_croome
Title The Weight of a Feather and other stories
Author Judy Croome
Publisher Aztar Press
FormatPaperback and eBook
Page Extent194 pages
AvailabilityAll good bookstores, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Apple iStores, Kobo, Kalahari and Loot
Edited by Angela Voges of Typographica Manuscript, Cape Town, South Africa.
Cover Design by Melissa Williams of MW Cover Design (Utah, USA)
eBook Design by Rob Siders of 52 Novels (Ohio, USA)