Witness Testimony was an interesting and engaging collection of short stories. When I first began reading, I found it difficult to ease into a reading rhythm because I had expectations, based on the title and cover. I opened this book preparing for the intrigue of courtroom drama, legal thrills, and witness interactions. However, that’s not what I found, so starting out was slow going for me.
By the time I reached the second half of the book, I let go of my preconceived notions. Once I accepted that these stories, though not bound legally together, were indeed witness accounts of life, it then became easier for me to relax into the absence of pattern and enjoy the journey. Actually, the author allowed the reader to be the witness to a cross section of humanity with all its solaces, uneasiness, and eccentricities. Taken from that interpretation, the collection made sense. My strongest critique would be that the title and cover art set me up for a predisposition against that experience, initially.
Overall, this was an enjoyable book. Here are a few of my favorite stories from this collection:
The Bullfighter’s Waltz was a curiosity. A story that connects emotionally in a setting where emotion is not the expectation, was a pleasant surprise. I felt that I could easily relate to these characters, even though their day-to-day is very distant from my own. The humanity of this story was felt, rather than read. That was nice.
The Matchmaker’s Reward entertained with a bit of fantasy. This is one story that left me wanting more. For me, it read perhaps as a last chapter for a larger novel… and perhaps it is… I hope it is. A bunch of questions were left unanswered, and I wanted to know more about the character’s history and their future. I wanted to know more about the magic and the rules behind how it is used, or how it isn’t. I enjoyed this story very much. It felt a little like a “Pat The Bunny” book for adults… a few words gave the reader so many tactile experiences, it left me wanting to learn more.
The Sending was tremendously poignant for me. Everything about this story, the why behind it, and the minute details of spirituality, evoked something akin to a universal understanding. This story was delicate and powerful simultaneously. It offered just enough to allow for emotional transference, but not quite enough to lose the intellectual intensity of the moment. That duality, for me, made it a great read.
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy the sensation of being a fly on the wall. These are tales experienced through the expression of the temperature of the room, rather than the cold distance of reporting.
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