New Horizons by Joanne Van Leerdam

Reviewed by: TBBManiac Robs

I’ve not really explored many short story books; I find I avoid them lest their contents are too… well, short. Often times I tend to feel that I’m not given an opportunity to really immerse myself in a story, it starts and as soon as it does, it’s over and I am left feeling rather put out and not entirely satisfied.

 New Horizons, as explained by author Joanne Van Leerdam is a collection of “16 short stories offering insights into how people respond when they encounter experiences and events they have not foreseen, or when they discover new horizons in their lives.”

With each story it’s as though Joanne lifted the ceiling off of an apartment complex and has recorded the lives of each unit’s inhabitants. Though short, there is no lack of beautifully structured sentences which leaves you knowing exactly how each character is feeling, despite no solid climax, the imagination needs little convincing about the next steps or thoughts of the characters as we move onto the next story.

One story is not even a full page length long, while another reaches 5 pages, but with each you are taken on a vividly brief but powerfully emotional trip. It really is an examination of the very basic nature of people, it’s poetically written and there’s just something which is so absolutely accurate and relatable about each story that struck me like an axe.

I have a new found respect for short stories after reading New Horizons. Revelation left me feeling as though my own thoughts, many moons ago, had been taken from the recesses of my mind and put to paper. Lucy had me giggling at her completely paradoxical approach to life outside of school, whereas Late Fall had me contemplating on how important marriage-maintenance can be. And still others showing that life can change at the flip of a switch, or the moment an item is not left where it’s always been.

I would absolutely love to see Joanne venture into a slightly longer story in the future, I feel she’d do really, really well at it and that I’d just simply have to get my hands on it.

Review Rating: 4/5

Genre: Short Stories



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