Women and Love by Miriam Burke
Women and Love is a thought-provoking collection of seventeen tightly woven tales about the power of love, all its trials and complications, and the shattered lives it can leave in its wake. The stories explore a huge variety of sorts of love surrounding women in wildly differing settings, and features an unforgettable cast including GPs, burglars, inmates, emigrant cleaners, carers, young professionals, and many more.
Navigating heavy themes, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ experiences, including gender dysphoria and searching for a sperm donor, the stories leave the reader burning with indignation, full of empathy and wonder. ‘I couldn’t sleep that night; our conversation was like a trapped bird flying around inside my head. The next morning, I texted to say I wouldn’t be coming back. I lied about having to return to my country to nurse a sick relative. I couldn’t bear to see my story mirrored in his eyes, and to see what we never had. I knew he’d understand.’
Now I have to admit that I am a bit of a lover when it comes to short stories, and I am grateful to Renard Press for a copy of Women and Love the debut collection of short stories by Miriam Burke. Seventeen stories about love and the power of love.
The beauty of short stories is that there are so many narratives and characters, and each story is so tightly written. This is love in all its forms with LGBTQ+ being a particular focus. In the stories you get to meet Doctors, prison inmates, burglars, carers and many more. I was really taken by how Miriam Burke went about creating such a remarkable cast of characters. There is something for everyone in this collection.
These are everyday scenarios that the stories tell, and you feel that you want to know more about each of them. Sometimes love can lead to good things, sometimes bad, and sometimes you can just not read a moment very well. They are all here. It is a thought-provoking collection and there are key moments in each story that you can take away and think about.
Miriam Burke is a writer from the West of Ireland and her short story collections have appeared in anthologies and many journals. Miriam has a PhD in Psychology and before becoming a writer she worked for many years as a Clinical Psychologist in London hospitals and GP surgeries. Women and Love is her debut collection.
My thanks to Renard Press for the review Copy of Women and Love by Miriam Burke Published on 23rd February 2022 and is now available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org
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