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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In A System of the Chaotic Mind by Katie M Marshall, throughout life, every person has to go through personal highs and lows to learn important lessons. Some more than others have to face experiences that make them draw on their strengths and overcome severe heartache and tragedy. In this collection of short stories, we see a man trying to come to terms with the loss of his wife of fifty years, a girl kidnapped by a delusional father, a schoolgirl fighting to find perfection in herself and others, a young girl whose grief culminates in exposure to some chilling encounters, and a girl who realizes the importance of cherishing every day. The emotional rollercoaster we face can be brutal and unforgiving but to understand ourselves more, sometimes we have to experience trauma to understand the power of our emotional, physical, and mental stamina.
I love stories that make you stop and ponder and this compelling collection of short stories did just that. Katie's style of writing is beautiful, her descriptive narrative relays the emotions of every character perfectly. Each of the characters is dealing with their own personal traumas and have to face some brutal obstacles in order to make sense of the world they live in. What struck me most about each story, particularly my favorite Chess Pieces, was how your mind can perceive a reality that does not exist. The twist at the end of this story was superb too. A System of the Chaotic Mind by Katie M Marshall highlights how vulnerable we can become as we face a stressful life event; our minds can sabotage our perceptions of reality if we allow it. At the same time, we can rise from the ashes and survive these situations, becoming stronger and more self-aware.