Monday 17 June 2013

Sweet Home by Carys Bray

Published by Salt Publishing in October last year, Sweet Home is a collection of short stories by Carys Bray, and was the winner of the Scott Prize.

In Sweet Home we find a collection of 17 stories, all of them explore some dark issues in suburbia.  Themes of loss, motherhood, regret and hope are woven through this exceptional collection of tales.  Carys Bray has the ability to draw the reader in from the first sentence, not letting go until the end.   I often find short stories unsatisfactory, almost as if the author wants to write a full-length novel but just runs out of steam, this really didn't happen once in this collection.   Each story is the perfect parcel - sometimes funny, always on the dark side and all so very truthful.   Whether it is the bereaved mother, the alleged witch or the baby supermarket, each story is crafted so well, almost fairy-tale like - but definitely on the Grimm side!

Family based stories can often be sentimental or overly sweet, but not these. Carys Bray captures the stark realities of ordinary everyday life, but with grace and a touch of beauty.

Carys Bray
I was very impressed with Sweet Home and look forward to reading more from Carys Bray in the future.  My thanks to the author for providing a copy for review.

Carys Bray completed an MA in Creative Writing in 2010.  Her prize-winning stories have been published in a variety of literary magazines, in print and on the web.  She is working on her first novel and a PhD.  She lives in Southport with her husband and four children.

For more information about Carys Bray, visit her website, or find her on Twitter or Facebook.  More information about Salt Publishing can be found on their website

1 comment:

  1. Carys Bray came to talk to our students yesterday Anne, and she was great. She read from Sweet Home and also from her new book, A Song for Issy Bradley which is due for publication in June. Its central themes are grounded in the Mormon faith and the story you mention about the bereaved mother is drawn from one of the scenes in this debut novel. Jenn Ashworth's Friday Gospels is also set in a Mormon family - looking forward to reading both of these.