Pages from life

Everybody has a story... These are ours...Everybody has a story… These are ours… by Audrey N. Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Like they say-‘what’s in a name?’-It can similarly be asked-‘what’s in a successful short story?’
A short story is a collection of passing moments in life-thousands of moments that are sunk into oblivion everyday-moments that are as priceless as the drops of pearly tears-priceless as the bright sunshine like laughter.
And a short story will never ever get finished. Because it is the glimpses of the dynamic life-and life never ends-always it keeps on moving-in joy and in grief-in hope and in despair.
A short story is like the reflection of the surroundings in a pond……………
Everybody Has a Story-Here are Ours by Audrey N Lewis is an anthology of seven short stories-like the seven colors of rainbow. All the shades of color have been painted by the writer with bold brushstroke-thematic imagination and gripping narratives. Her writing exposes the psychological traits of the species called Homo sapiens. Stories are narrated in first persons-because the stories are truly from the pages of life. Some will merge us into deep melancholy-some will shock us with the climax. Overall it is a well managed orchestra-symphony revealing every shades of life.
Let us start us our discussion with the first story of the collection-the Closet. The story starts with penning of the picture of an adoring child-a doting mother and a happy family-giving us no clue to which direction the story will head to. The narrator of the story loves her family likes a miser loves his wealth-and to her motherhood was the most precious thing. She was thrilled when little Marcus came into her lap.
Marcus is close to perfection-he was tolerant, intelligent, patient-if a baby is capable of realizing the true meaning of these high sounding human qualities-but truly he was and ‘he was the baby that god gave you first so that you would want a second’. But this time it was not smooth sailing-everything has to be tried-fertility drug, semen analysis, medical tests-before she became pregnant for the second time.
And after the coming of little Katherine to the family-she was not as easy to be treated like Marcus. She was hard to handle-cried so much that they began to wonder whether it was medically all well with her. From every possible corner strange advises started to downpour like torrential rain –and after a little bit of time she realized her dear husband, is not with her in the battle of controlling Katherine. But like dawn comes after the night, Katherine had started to be normal. ‘Soon she giggled as often she had screamed. She quickly went from crawling to pulling herself up and on her birthday we not only celebrated her training 1, but she took her very first step independently. Within a day or two she was running. Life was good.’
Or was it?
Katherine proved to be a difficult child to be talked-by her parents-her brothers-her teachers-her friends. Neither had she tried to adjust herself to the social periphery- nor her acquaintances tried to adjust with her. Her uncontrollable rage had made her unpopular in her friend’s circle-teachers felt her outbursts disruptive. And after a painful series of efforts on the part of her parents-there was a temporary stop of her school life. But she had proved to be increasingly difficult to be controlled-rage, fit, weeping, crying –everything made her parents decide-enough is enough. And she started her school chapters once again-this time in a new school-in a new environment. ‘At the school meeting she shined. She was little Miss Personality .sweet, attentive and engaging, the staff and teachers were excited to have her.’
And then she had a passion –well, you will decide later-what would have been an apt word for Katherine’s interest towards hamster. She impressed her mother with a comprehensive knowledge about the mammal-and got one as a pet. She named her Blinky. All seemed fine until one day the narrator discovered Blinky was dead’ her head cocked in an unusual position almost separated from her body.’ Her parents suspected that she might have some hand in her death. But she convinced everybody that it was her innocent curiosity that was responsible for her death!
Her attention then got diverted to insects-specially bugs. And she made a nice colony for them. The conclusion of the story is shocking-will sent a chill down your spine. After you discover the last twist-you will think in horror-is it possible? Can she do it?
The story telling style of Audrey is so absorbing that your interest will soar like the temperature of a feverish patient. She is capable of creating a perfect ambience that will take the story towards the end. She has proved herself master craftswoman in craving the character of Katherine-a lady avatar of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide. Katherine has made everybody fooled by the façade of her character. But what will haunt you after finishing the story that what is the cause? Usually such deformation or deviation is caused by the social unacceptability-childhood trauma-memory of torment. But she had loving parents-caring brother-social environment of higher etalon. Then why?
No doubt only a powerful writer can come to that depth of human psychology with unmoved pen.
The last story of the collection ‘ If only you could hear her sing’ is a touching account of the experience of the narrator in a controversial so called ‘well managed’ nursing home. Like all other stories of the collection the writer cared a lot about narrating the surrounding-creating an ambience of contrast. She recalled her experience with the home-where the first two floors give the impression of heaven on earth-warm, cozy environment, professional staffs, ample scope for entertainment for the patients. But once you just go at upper stage-you will find hell on earth. It is simply because the patients of the third and fourth floors are seldom visited by their keens-the floors are a little away from the media attention-and so the patients are neglected.
But even after all these neglects, apathy on the part of the management to the residents of the third and fourth floor-the residents have stolen her attention.
‘When I returned on the 4th floor, I immediately heard Mabel’s singing. She was sitting up in her wheelchair behind her closeddoor. I attempted to introduce myself, but she was in her own world, so I just listened for a while. She wasn’t singing songs but instead was singing conversations. Conversations full of details about her past…..’
It is a quest of the narrator-of discovering that indomitable force that made our life so beautiful in spite of all the grief, despair and dejection. Like a skilled scuba diver she has explored the depths of life for her pearls.
And as I have told at the beginning-the stories will echo to the readers after finishing thee book- like a song that takes our life from the hustle bustle of life.
A song that perhaps ended with a drop of tears.

View all my reviews

Grab a copy at