When I read the description of Everblossom by Larissa Hinton, a collection of poetry and short stories with “a dash of everything from dark fantasy to the paranormal to even romance”, I was definitely intrigued as I’m a sucker for short stories. Give me a Eudora Welty, Dawn Powell or O’ Henry Prize collection and I am a happy and content reader. Poetry, however, is something I am still learning to love, although I have found I enjoy it most when it is read aloud by my favorite resident of Lake Wobegon. So I was interested to read the collection and see how I reacted to the poems in Everblossom as compared to the short stories.
The collection is divided into three parts: Seed, Bud, and Blossom. Each section included poems and stories relating to childhood and beginnings, adolescence and middles, and adulthood and ends. The concept is interesting—which also sums up my thoughts on the poems and stories. They are interesting, but fall short of what I enjoy and consider a good story.
I thought that many of the short stories had great potential, whether it was a tantalizing plot or unusual character. Unfortunately, they were either confusing or felt incomplete and too short. While I enjoy ambiguous endings and reading between the lines to piece together a complete plot, I don’t think that was the case with these stories. Several read like the beginning of an interesting story, and just as we were figuring out who these characters were and what this story is about, it’s over. As a reader, I felt as if the plot and characters were cut off mid-sentence rather than reading a full story that left me wanting more. One story was so short, it read like a few paragraphs lifted from a chapter of a book. In fact, I don’t think I can summarize the stories without giving away the entire beginning, middle, and end.
As for the poems, like I said earlier, I really like the idea and concept, but I thought many of them were a bit heavy-handed and didn’t think they quite fit in with the stories in the collection. I did enjoy the “WSV” (Words Speak Volumes) poems, which were composed of single word lines and reminded me of Radiohead’s “Fitter Happier“.
I did notice in the table of contents that over half of the stories contain characters from two of the author’s books, of which only one is available. However, that book was published after Everblossom was released, so I don’t think the author intended readers to have previous knowledge of the characters and world those stories are from to understand what exactly is going on in them.
Overall, I think this collection is full of interesting ideas and characters; I only wish they had been fleshed out more. As it is, I was left feeling unsatisfied as a reader.
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Everblossom by Larissa Hinton
Larissa Hinton (2011)
eBook: 61 pages
Special thanks to Ms. Hinton for my review copy!