December 20 2020.
January 3, 2021
Review of a Box of Memories by Australian Author, Mark Piper. 5 Stars.
It’s unusual for me these days to pick a book of short stories to read. I’m inclined to choose novels in a number of different genres. That’s been the focus of my own writing for the last few years. But Allan Hudson’s delightful collection of stories, A Box of Memories, reminded me of what I’ve been missing.
The characters all feel like real people, sometimes strange, sometimes quirky, but always memorable. Hudson takes you back to your childhood with the two stories featuring ten-year-old Beans and Chops. Okay, you have to be old enough to imagine youthful adventures before cell phones and the internet, but even if you’re not that old, the stories hold up beautifully. Hudson has a knack for putting the reader in the midst of a time and place that feel comfortable.
The stories in A Box of Memories feature characters of both genders, ages from pre-teen to octogenarian, times from the early settling of the West to well into the future not yet realized. Pretty much all of the characters are relatable to most of us, even if we’ve never been so poor we had to attend funeral receptions to be able to get a decent meal, even if we’ve never found an abandoned baby, even if we’ve never escaped slavery in the old south via the Underground Railroad. That’s because the characters are at once appealing and feel real for their time and place. That’s not such an easy thing to accomplish, but Hudson has the talent and the empathy to pull it off beautifully.
One of the advantages of a collection of short stories is that you have clear stopping points. There are no cliff hangers that force you on to the next chapter, even though it may be well past your bedtime. But I found myself reading right through these stories in a few days. I was anxious to see where Hudson’s imagination would take me next, and I wasn’t disappointed even once. A Box of Memories gets my highest recommendation.
Mr. Hudson weaves a wonderful tale of love and endurance and it is easy to become entwined with Dominic and those he meets along the way. I look forward in anticipation to the next chapter in the life of the Alexanders."
Another happy reader: