“On Being Welsh” in a land ruled by the English By Roger Moore
Stories that seem true or maybe even memoir make up this winsome and often dark turn of tales in this new offering by Moore.Amazon USA
“On Being Welsh” in a land ruled by the English
By Roger Moore
Review by LB Sedlacek
Stories that seem true or maybe even memoir make up this winsome and often dark turn of tales in this new offering by Moore. Each story contains stories within the story. They start off in one direction, but you won’t be far into it before it turns in a completely different way. These stories take detours. These stories take moments and turn them into heartbreak and shocking discoveries.
Moore’s writing style is tough, tense, but welcoming. His approach is straightforward leading you right into what he wants to say. These stories go right to the edge, facing each character head on.
You can savor each story in separate readings or all in one sitting. They are brilliant and taut, nicely executed. Moore blends well-directed plots into multi-layered stories. His book offers insights into the trials, pain, and often what seems to be an incomprehensible family history.
From the short story “Away We Go”:
“T. S. Eliot. ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’
Often the imprisoned heart, struggling like a butterfly to break free
of its earthly bonds, is bound and chloroformed, its human body thrust
through with a piercing pin.”
“I too am doomed to flourish for a while and then to fade. These
white-washed walls, these windows with their barren bars, these rules
and regulations … they limit me.”
Moore’s stories are complex. They will grab you on the first page. Some parts are sweet and simple and some are quite disturbing. He writes a muscular prose.
From the short story “A House Divided”:
“A clouded evening withdraws its thin watery light from the kitchen
where every morning my grandfather shaves. I lean over the chipped
porcelain sink and the grey shades of my face ghost for a moment
through the shaving mirror poised on its stained, wooden shelf.”
“I have left the light on in the next room and my fingers walk slowly
across the soap. They brush against the still-damp flannel and the soap
dish. I touch the embossed leather case of my grandfather’s cutthroat
razor, its bird of prey beak hidden in the shadows.”
Imagery runs rampant through Moore’s prose. You can imagine yourself right there in the narrator’s shoes feeling what he feels. Lines cut quick and will sharpen your senses, thoroughly engrossing you as you move from paragraph to paragraph. Vivid, suspenseful with the tiniest flick of terror as the narrator moves through days, weeks, years with circumstances often evolving into tragedy, Moore gives us a fast paced real life adventure of sorts.
Moore lives in Canada and is also a poet as well as an award winning academic and teacher who has published more than 30 books of poetry and prose. He was the first writer in residence for KIRA (Kingsbrae International Residence for the Arts) in St. Andrews, New Brunswick where he wrote his manuscript. The story is set in Tara Manor, a boutique hotel. In it, the narrator is searching for a story he can write rejecting stories and myths of other people as well as indigenous races to find out he must be the main subject.
He has certainly achieved what he set out to do with these stories. The prose is evocative and doesn’t miss a beat. It’s tense, it’s real, Moore sets a new standard in short story telling.
~LB Sedlacek is the author of the poetry collections “I’m No ROBOT,” “Words and Bones,” “Simultaneous Submissions,” “The Adventures of Stick People on Cars,” and “The Poet Next Door.” Her first short story collection came out last year entitled “Four Thieves of Vinegar & Other Short Stories.” Her mystery novel “The Glass River” was nominated for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. She writes poetry reviews for “The Poetry Market Ezine” www.thepoetrymarket.com You can find out more about her at www.lbsedlacek.com