Sunday, September 8, 2019
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I very much enjoyed being challenged in my thinking by the two novellas in this collection. It contains two very different stories: Caught Between Love and Loss, and the title story, A Refugee’s Rage.
Caught Between Love and Loss
This story starts out as if it is going to be a story about Richard, a guy who buys a block of land in the bush and decides to build a house on it, but then gradually becomes a story about his girlfriend, Rachel, as she struggles to define what her relationship with Richard is. Is he just a lover? Perhaps a potential long-term boyfriend? Is she in love with him? Or is she just in love with the idea of building a house and living in a beautiful rural Australia setting? The house becomes a metaphor for their relationship as the reader wonders whether it will ever be complete. The story tugs at the heart as you hope they can find a way to really connect.
A Refugee’s Rage
In contrast to the first story, A Refugees Rage is a very angry story. It is the story of a sixteen-year-old Romanian refugee, Alexlandru, in Rome. He has had to look after himself for most of his life and will do anything to survive. He is a volatile character who readily resorts to violence to survive. The story is written in the first person so the reader sees the world almost exclusively through the eyes of someone who is not only a refugee in a foreign land, but in many ways a refugee from society. One day he meets a Syrian refugee, Ara, and the story revolves around their attempts to survive and whether his desire to survive will allow him to develop a relationship with her.
The linking factor between the stories is, I think, that both main characters are searching for a place in life. The writing is excellent and frequently poetic (Anthony J. Langford has authored a few books of poetry).
I thoroughly recommend the stories in this book as they will engage the reader while taking them out of their comfort zone.
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