Peace and Disquiet

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
150 Pages
Reviewed on 10/16/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Helen Laycock's short stories appear in a variety of anthologies and magazines as well as in her own collections, and have been successful in many writing competitions. Her first attempt at play-writing secured her a shortlisting in Pint-Sized Plays in 2016.
In 2018, she was commissioned as a lead writer at Visual Verse and her flash fiction has featured in several editions of The Best of CafeLit. Recently, pieces have been showcased in the Cabinet of Heed, Reflex Fiction and Lucent Dreaming – whose inaugural flash competition she won. She was longlisted in Mslexia’s 2019 flash fiction competition and her work was selected to appear in the 2019 Flash Flood Journal as part of National Flash Fiction Day.
She has penned nine children's books for 8-12-year-olds and is employed as a writer by an educational publisher.
Helen Laycock's poetry has most recently appeared in Popshot, Poems for Grenfell (Onslaught) and Full Moon and Foxglove (Three Drops Press), and her children's poetry has been twice published in The Caterpillar Magazine. Her poems appear in several further anthologies. She won the David St. John Writing Awards for Novice Poetry in 2006.

She also writes humorous verse.

All her books are available on Amazon.

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She has four websites.

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Keyla Damaer for Readers' Favorite

Peace and Disquiet by Helen Laycock is a collection of short stories that range from death to hope. The author uses vivid language, giving birth to a variety of emotions for the reader: sadness, longing, despair, tenderness, fear, rejection, hate and many more. Each story, aside from a few, left a bitter-sweet taste in my mouth. Some of them are definitely worth a specific mention. 'Till Death Do Us Part' is one of my favorites of all, with the title explaining most of what happens. A moving story about the final moments of an old couple. 'I'm Not Simon' is one of the most unsettling, especially when the end of the tale approached and I realised what it was about. A bitter-sweet symphony about love and death. 'Silver Lining' is a sad story about an abused child. 'Design' is a short fairy tale, one of the few stories with an ending that made me smile, while ‘From This Day Forward' is a disturbing, living nightmare. My favourite of all is 'Dear Madeline,' a heartwarming, sad story about two children.

I usually read long novels and sagas, but I must admit that I liked these short stories more than any others I’ve ever read. Helen Haycock swiftly creates entire worlds, some of them fairly realistic, others out of the ordinary and on the boundary of the paranormal such as in 'Design' where improbable, weird things happen for real. The sadness of some stories is fairly balanced by the ones that make you feel hope. I felt pulled into the lives of the characters and was compelled to finish each story as soon as possible. When I finished the book, I almost felt disappointed that there weren’t any more stories. I’ll definitely read something else from this author. I’d also love to see some of these stories developed into a novella, or a novel: everyone needs more mermaids. If you like a quick dip into an enjoyable collection, then you can’t miss this one.