Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Simplified Map of the Real World: the Renata Stories, by Stevan Allred. Forest Avenue Press, 2013

Renata is the small town at the center of a county in central Oregon. The fifteen stories set there span several generations; characters show up in more than one story; sometimes we see a story from various perspective. There is a continuity that doesn’t normally occur in short story collections, even though the stories are not arranged chronologically (which was confusing at times). These are tales of divorce, love, death, prejudice, greed, poor choices- lots of poor choices including trying to make a tractor fly- and all the other things that make us human.

I’ve been living in a small town/rural area for over 30 years now, and I recognize these people: the farmers, sheriffs, delinquents, bullies and all the types that make up life in small town USA. I’m not normally the biggest fan of short stories, because there tends to be a lack of character development, but because of the format, these tales are all about character development, sometimes spanning multiple stories. I loved this book, and rather hope that more stories come out of this rural county. 

The above is an affiliate link. If you click through and buy something, Amazon will give me a few cents. This in no way influenced my review. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the great review of Stevan Allred's collection! As his publisher, it's always phenomenal to stumble on unexpected lovelinesses like this one.