Carys Davies’ The Redemption of Galen Pike is one of the best collections of short stories I have ever read; second only to Salinger’s Nine Stories – if you know me, that’s saying a lot. A lot.
The stories in The Redemption of Galen Pike are unique, insightful, and infused with an honest and quirky view of human behavior. Davies has a beautiful understanding of the various psychologies that drive people, and a wonderful sense of compassion which she expresses through vivid characters, and story arcs endowed with a sharp sense of humor.
There wasn’t a single story in this collection that I disliked; they each had their own beauty – but there were a couple that didn’t grab me as much as the following standouts:
The Quiet: Honestly, this is one of the most perfect short stories I’ve come across. It is stunning and beautifully timed. It may seem odd to talk about timing when it comes to literature – but, as in comedy, timing is everything in shaping the perfect short story. Davies captures how strong and valuable a single connection between two humans can be.
The Bonnet: Simple. Bittersweet. Mildly heartbreaking. And based on one of my favorite authors, Charlotte Brontë.
The Travellers: In this piece Davies shows off her wonderful (and slightly dark) sense of humor. Most couples will get a kick out of this one…and maybe see a certain aspect of life in a different perspective.
The Redemption of Galen Pike: Just like “The Quiet” this one is also perfect. I’ve been contemplating how to come up with the best way to capture how impactful this story is. But, the best way for you to find out is to read it yourself.
Rating: 5 Pink Bonnets