A nice collection and an easy read, featuring 27 contributors and 43 entries.
There’s a notable distinction between love and romance, despite the two generally being associated as the same thing in fiction.
Elephant House Press have released this unique collection of short stories, images and poetry that celebrate love, not romance. There are, of course, predominantly romantic entries in the book. It would be remiss not to include these, given that romance is often the outcome of love between two people.
What is missing is a broader sweep of romantic possibilities. While some tales are gender-neutral, where we don’t know the sex of one of the protagonists, there is nothing explicitly outside of the heterosexual norm. LGTBIQ readers will be disappointed at their exclusion, as will all the crazy old cat-ladies of the world who don’t get a mention.
Of the 27 contributors who make up the 43 entries, none disappoint in their quality of writing. Editor, Elizabeth Chapman, has endeavoured to keep the book snappy and light. The black and white captioned photography scattered throughout are a wonderful capture of a particular moment or thought. The poetry is all sweet, and the numerous short stories by DC White, Dimity Knight, Elizabeth Snow, Lulu Fisher, and many others are complemented by book extracts from Lia Spencer’s 2019 novel, A Plan Unravelled and Phil Daughtry’s 2019 book, Portraits of Our Shy Hopes.
Three short stories stand out in particular, although this is no discredit to any of the others writers. Forgiven but Not Forgotten by Kathryn White sets itself apart from the others in a tale of forgiveness when a woman and her first love meet again and deal with their unkind past. The 3-page story, An Anniversary of Flowers and Swords by Linda M Crate provides a unique backdrop of a fantasy world of faeries and dragons, and Little Butterfly by Willow Banks is a beautifully written, heartfelt letter from a mother to her unborn child, talking of faith in God and faith in oneself.
To conclude this celebration of love is the love of humanity. Sales of the book support Human & Hope Association, a grassroots community centre in Siem Reap, Cambodia that invests in education, vocational training and community support programs. Bravo.
Love Story Volume 1 is a book that can be opened up randomly for a quick read and a touch of warmth. The second volume is due for release in 2020 and will hopefully show that love’s reach goes beyond just a man and a woman.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Distributed by: Elephant House Press
Released: February 2019
Disclaimer: Elizabeth Chapman is a reviewer for Glam Adelaide.