I've never reviewed a series of short stories on the blog before, so I jumped at the chance to review this literary trio by Jessica Marie Holt.
The series contains two short stories and a novella that ties the story together nicely. In the first book, we meet past-her-prime Elsie who feels put out-to-pasture by her well-meaning children. In the second book, we meet the loving and lost Amos, who mourns the loss of his lifelong love. In the third, broken-hearted Joe finds a way to forgive and move forward through his friendship with Elsie and Amos.
The story focuses on persons over age 60 and y'all know I am so over kids in the twenties. It was lovely to see the issues faced by my parents and their friends in a society that often pretends the elderly don't exist. Jessica writes inner emotional experience beautifully. It's rare that I skip conversation to delve into prose, but that was my experience with these short stories.
If I have a criticism, it's that I wanted this cycle to be one complete novel. Amos, in particular, felt short-changed by his tiny number of words. He was a character full of life and I wanted more page time to love him. Joe also felt a little underserved by coming so late to the song cycle. I would've loved to read about all three characters in an interwoven narrative since all three had so much to offer.
Despite that, this is a set of stories to savor and ponder over a cup of tea as we all face the uncertain future created by aging bodies. The stories are poetic, kind, and heart-wrenching and well worth the short amount of time required to read them.