Next up for me short story wise this week, in recognition of national short story week, is Briar Road by Jonathan Buckley.
Briar Rose won the BBC national short story award for 2015 and – like yesterday’s The Memory Man – has a supernatural element to it as a psychic tries to help a family find out what has happened to their missing daughter. She visits their house, holds a séance, but can’t give them the answers they want.
I found the portrayals of the family and their reactions to the psychic’s visit very real – each was very different and not everyone’s was what you might expect. Then there was the psychic herself – I loved her cynicism (“It’s a wonderfully written story, rich on the small details that drew me in. On first reading, it seemed very simple but there was a lot of emotion here.”).
I can’t say I’m the best judge of a short story, as with all things we like what we like, but I can see why it won – this was a well written story that drew me in quickly and had me caring for the characters within a few paragraphs – something that is hard to do. Well worth a read.