Short stories do have such an ephemeral appearance. Such a collection does require a specific order of reading, you don't have to keep in mind a unique story line and characters. You can abandon it for a couple of days or even weeks or months and read it again without influence to the overall knowledge and understanding of the writing.
However, when reading a collection of short stories, I prefer to keep reading it. It goes faster sometimes and in this way I am able to follow patterns and ideas, the so-called red lines which are inevitably a trademark of any writer.
Days of Awe by A.M.Homes are impossible to be read otherwise. A story delves into the other, the characters are developped from a story to another, in their full strangeness. They are dual - in both their gender orientation and their desires - at the limit, looking for different emotional experiences and obsessed with past - theirs, of the world, of their group. Some of them look like pictures in a therapy book.
The most complex characters are the women: they might be dual in their sexual desires, They are struggling with their mothers, their past and their identities are often a construction made of multiple layers. The men are almost lost in their shadows.
The dialogues are for me the strongest literary part of the short stories. They reveal a lot about the inner lives and secrets of the characters, about their hidden desires and their past obsessions. They are vivid and spontaneous and a noteworthy part of the staged narrative.
Although I am not reading so often short stories, this collection left traces into my literary desires and created the appetite for even more such experiments. I may have to continue with more short stories by A.M.Homes maybe.
Rating: 4 stars