GoodReads rating – 5 stars
Sweet Home by Carys Bray is a short story collection, all the the stories within the collection are based on the theme of family and the home. This was a new experience for me, as I have never read a short story collection that wasn’t a classic or fantasy based.
Carys’ writing is beautiful. Her masterful use of words had me reading and re-reading non-stop. One of my favorite quotes from the book is ‘And she is ready with defibrillating cups of tea on this return’. The metaphors and the language Carys uses just blew me away.
It is difficult to list favorites from this collection, as each and every story captivated me in one way or another, but some that must be mentioned are; The Rescue – a harrowing tale of dealing with drug abuse in the family, The Ice Baby – a beautiful take on sacrifice and love for a child, and Scaling Never – a heart wrenching story about the death of a child and those left behind. Scaling Never has since been expanded into a novel by Carys entitled A Song For Issy Bradley which was swiftly added to my book wish list.
Carys combines fairy tale, magical realism, and good old fashioned creative writing to create the most beautiful stories, capable of making you laugh, cry, and step out of your comfort zone to imagine situations that no human should experience but far too many do. She makes you appreciate your mother, grieve for your lost grandparents, and cherish everything you hold dear within your family. You realise just how lucky you are in the world after reading this book.
Words cannot express my love for Carys’ writing, and I cannot wait to consume more of it. Carys is a former Open University student like myself, and reading this book gave me the motivation I needed to work harder on my studies and have more faith in myself. She also is a lovely lady, taking the time to have a short chat over Twitter with me. A stellar woman with a beautiful gift, I think I am a firm Bray fan and look forward to reading all her other works in the very near future.