Title: Hark- A Christmas Collection
Author: Justin Bog
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction
Publishing date: 14th November, 2014
Published by: Booktrope
My Rating: 2.75/5 stars
*e-copy received from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*
A beautifully written collection of short stories from critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest writer Justin Bog, Hark—A Christmas Collection explores the range of emotions surrounding the holidays. From melancholy to madness, loss and despair to hope and forgiveness, these six tales shimmer with feelings, some we’d rather stuff away, that Christmas can evoke.
Within Hark—A Christmas Collection, a retired police officer faces another Christmas Eve while bitter recollections haunt his every turn, a lonely businesswoman plans to seduce Santa Claus one Christmas Eve, a widow grows anxious searching for a misplaced present she intended to send to her ungrateful sister, a woman can’t keep the images of her past—these ghosts—from haunting the life she chooses to live; while attending a Christmas party in Sun Valley, Idaho, a bookstore clerk and his partner are taught a lesson most un-holidaylike, and, in the final story, a couple portrays Mr. & Mrs. Claus in their small island town holiday festivities and face a grim diagnosis together.
Set in colorful locations around the United States, from Anacortes, Washington, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Sun Valley, Idaho, each tale focuses on people who struggle to make good choices, learn lessons, and maybe even find peace during the holiday season.
It has six short stories in it. Namely, Hark, Seducing Santa, Bracelet, Everyone wants me to, Snow Globe, The Heralds.
My advice would be to go into this book without any expectations because when we think of Christmas, we associate all the happy and mushy emotions with it but this isn’t your typical Christmas joy stories. This book portrays much deeper emotions, the underlying emotions to the joyous cover we display.
The stories are well thought and well written. When I began writing this review, I planned to give a summary of every story but then thought above it. I think this book is to be enjoyed with no prior knowledge of what the book contains.
When you look at the pretty cover and the title, you think, this is going to be one of those sweet, bubbly, syrup induced story but boy! you sure are in for a ride. This book explores the emotions that we don’t usually associate with Christmas but they are well and true to show their presence somehow. Not everyone gets into the festive hype, for some the festivals bring out their thoughts that might have a tinge of darkness.
All the stories explore different types of emotions and show us that Christmas is not the same for everyone but I feel that the dark thoughts are wrapped in the blanket of compassion and hope because that is what life is about. Getting over the negativity and embracing the positivity.
Why would I pick it up?
For the unconventional concept.