This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Life is full of snippets, some true, some made up. When life becomes a story, there are many versions, multiple scenarios and tangents. And then there is the clever weaving of fact with fiction and point of view. Author V.S. Kemanis does this expertly, one story at a time. The reader is instantly immersed in the stories the author weaves, never wondering whether or not it’s a true story or one that was made up. The telling is the art: the setting, the plot, the characters all weaving their mysterious magic through words, metaphors and similes singing the ambiance of all that makes the story real and alive. The story is as much the metaphor as the minuscule metaphors woven into the telling. In Rosemary and Reuben, the high class restaurant that requires a reservation at least a year ahead is not about the food and fine cuisine. There isn’t any, really. It’s not about the taste or the sense of savoring a good meal. There isn’t anything with taste to savor. It’s about the experience. The ambiance. It’s about the story. In many ways this collection is like that. It’s about the story. Rich in metaphors and intensely provocative descriptive passages, these stories are to be tasted, savored, enjoyed and read over and over again.
Your Pick: Selected Stories is a powerful tribute to this author’s mastery of the art of creating not just a good story, but a story that needs to be read many times to appreciate the full power of its presentation. From themes of love (acceptance and rejection), to racial issues, to life’s unexplained tragedies, and everything in between, this collection presents a raw view of life. The author has a knack of creating a plot out of something very simple, like the meal served in a high class restaurant (Rosemary and Reuben), or the destructive nature of tragedy and humanity’s resilience to overcome what was stolen (Pianissimo, Fortissimo). Even the titles allow the reader to dig deeper into their meaning.
The greatest power in this author’s writing is the use of description. From Rosemary and Reuben: “The small foyer is square, dim and hushed like a confessional.” And another one from the same story: “the words are bottled under a well-aged cork.” With my personal love and background in music, I was drawn to the story, Pianissimo, Fortissimo, and the nuances between creator and creation described within: “His music was his voice.” And from the same story, the revelation: “It pushes upward on my diaphragm and tightens my throat into spasm, then just as suddenly washes everything clean and open. A hand straightens my spine, another lifts my chin, completing the inner passageway, my column of sound. I sing!” These stories sing. With both power and conviction.