Today dear readers I am reviewing On A Distant Ridgeline (Published 14 Sept. 2021 By Platypus Press) By Sam Reese. A big thank you to Isabelle from Fly On The Wall Press who gave me the wonderful opportunity to read and review this book, always appreciated.
On A Distant Ridgeline
In his second collection, On A Distant Ridgeline, Sam Reese creates twelve vivid and tenderly drawn tales with moments and memories that linger just out of reach. Between the past and present and potential reconciliations —and with a keen eye on the subtle balance of human connection—relationships and their fractured qualities are central to this new gathering of stories.
About The Author
Hailing from New Zealand, Sam Reese is an award winning writer and critic. He was the recipient of the Arthur Miller Centre First Book Prize, Lazuli Literary Prize, and the Brittle Star Short Fiction Contest, and a finalist for the Glimmer Train New Writer award.
He teaches Creative Writing at York St John University.
In this collection of twelve short stories Reese explores the themes of memories, relationships and human connection as you hear the gentle lapping of the waves in the distance.
Each story presents layered and intriguing characters for the reader to explore. Each one even more captivating than the last. You find yourself placed in various situations, where every story has a purpose, a desire to show the reader how these characters dream of a different life or remember a distant memory. How they wish to find themselves, explore new horizons and wonder how they became so lost. They feel an emptiness, that something is missing and find ways to be reborn, take new paths in life. It’s relatable to the reader as it shows our vulnerabilities, how short life is and that it is what we make of it. Do we live in the past, looking back at faded memories or do we look ahead at the bright unknown, never knowing what may come next? Do we dare take the risk or do we stay in the comfort of what we know, never adventuring to distant shores.
Reese’s writing is as tranquil as the sea. It can calm you, drift you away from the shore to be left stranded in open water. Yet he will surprise you with a runaway wave that tries to pull you under, leaving you struggling for air and wondering how it managed to sneak up on you. For example the ending of An Experience sent chills down my spine. I was NOT expecting that.
My favourite story of the collection is Small Homes. I soaked up the atmosphere of sitting in a cafe, the smell of clay lingering in the air and the sense of endless possibilities. To rediscover and find your form. These stories will not only take you places but inspire you to reflect upon your own relationships, your own path in life.
I give On A Distant Ridgeline By Sam Reese a Four out of Five paw rating.
Reese paints an atmosphere thick with colour and sound. The presence of water is constant throughout, trickling in the background.
These short stories will take you on a journey of discovery and re-enlightenment as you observe the characters and their relationships with life.
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