Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mama Cried

Haven, T. (2015). Mama Cried. Sheehan and Haven.

Adult / Paranormal /  Fantasy

I gave this short story 5 of 5 stars.

Currently just $0.99 on Amazon. Click to buy.

Don't judge a book by its cover. We all hear it; we all ignore it. I will admit that initially, the cover for this book was a real turn-off and a little confusing because I knew that the intended reading audience wasn't children; however, knowing I had a short story ahead, I dove in and don't regret a second of it (but wish for more).  Now that I've read Mama Cried, the cover fits a bit better, as the story is told from the point-of-view of young Jenny.

 Jenny was having fun with her friends and all their puppies on the playground -- the playground for dead children -- when she's told it's time to go.  All the kids on the playground know that eventually they'll have to go with their guardians, but in their happy, peaceful, carefree world, they never question it. As Jenny is lead away and holds the hand of her guardian, Azula, she begins to ask questions and learns that it's Jenny's time to make a very serious decision, but that there is no right or wrong answer.  What Jenny encounters next raises a plethora of deep questions that will give readers much to ponder.

This is an incredibly thought provoking, speculative story that in just twelve short pages touches on many subjects including the afterlife, justice, forgiveness, and vengeance, to name a few.  It forces readers to reflect upon their beliefs and consider a perspective that they might not have before encountered.  The characterization was just right for what the story was trying to do. Though we don't learn much about Jenny, we learn enough, and it is in her innocence that the story gains its power. The snapshots of the life of Vivian, Jenny's mother, are torturous, and don't etch out her personality so much as the painful life she has lived without her child. In the character of Azula, there is opportunity for wide interpretation as to who or what she might be -- an angel? God? There is some room for interpretation in Theodore's character as well, but readers will feel the impact of his words enough to know how they feel about him. And the dogs! What an excellent and appropriate transformation from puppies to hounds. I will say no more.

Though others have mentioned that the story is full of writing errors, this member of the Grammar Police found only two typos and they were minor; so I am going to guess there have been some revisions because I had absolutely no issues with the writing slowing down the story.

The author, Talia Haven, shared with me a little about what got her thinking about writing this story. First, she clarified that she and her family have been blessed to have never gone through what Vivian goes through.  What got her attention is the response by some people as they exit court where death penalty sentences have been given and say "justice has been served." She wondered, "Has it?" What about forgiveness? The forgiveness of sin?

Ms. Haven's real life inspirations created a very interesting result.  Thank you to the author for providing me an eBook in exchange for my honest review.

Click here to follow the author and learn about her other books on Goodreads, Facebook, or Twitter.  

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