When Black Dogs Sing by Tanya Farrelly

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When Black Dogs Sing
When Black Dogs Sing
Author: Tanya Farrelly
ISBN-13: 9781851321476
Publisher: Arlen House
Guideline Price: €15

Short stories are often overlooked by readers of general fiction and this is unfortunate. They can be bite-sized, yet immensely satisfying treats which can be devoured in one lingering sitting, or divided into time-restricted experiences.

In this collection of 20 stories, the everyday lives of contemporary Ireland are examined with an observant eye. A mother walks the same road every night, determined to find her missing son; a homeless man accepts help from a young woman, but with unusual consequences; siblings skirt around each other with love, but uncertainty.

In Marty, the mundanity of motherhood takes its toll on a new mum: “She has a hazy recollection of business meetings, of days filled with interviewing potential employees, of making decisions, of there never being enough time. Now the days are endless.”

Individually, these stories could easily be extended to novel length, but are condensed with effective and efficient effect. A few formulaic moments are saved by the prose and narration, driving the collection over the bar. Accessible short fiction for the busy reader, with memorable characters and on-trend narrative.