Thursday, November 29, 2012


I downloaded Identities, by Susan Tsui when it was free.  I'd been paying attention to the author since I came across her novel, You Shouldn't Call Me Mommy on Goodreads.  I haven't read it yet, but it seemed really interesting, so It went onto my wishlist.  When I saw the Kindle download of her short story collection, I thought it would be a good way to taste a sample of Tsui's writing style.

The first thing I noticed was the loose use of the word "collection".  Identities contains only two stories.  They are about identities and they are great stories, but I kind of wish it was more obvious that I was only getting two.  On Goodreads, the collection has two synopses, but I've read synopses for many short story collections and you can't describe every story of a ten story or more collection, so often there are just two or three.  I noticed after I had already begun the first story that it also said 23 pages.  23 pages could be more than two stories and it sort of is.  At the end of Identities Tsui gives us the beginning of her novel.  It's on sale on Kindle right now... just 99 cents!  Should I buy it?  I want to, but my hubby and I were just talking about spending less on books....

Okay, enough personal stuff.  A few thoughts on the stories!

Desiree and Me

After a couple pages into the story, I had a feeling I knew what Desiree's secret was.  I wonder if she told her husband.  She wanted a family; she longed for something her counterpart couldn't wait to throw away.  She feels guilty, but not enough to ever reveal the truth.  What will it mean for her children?  Will she tell them?  Will they inherit her ability?  It was interesting to follow the main character's emotional journey.

All I've Got

This is another great story.  Another great emotional journey.  Tsui brings the supernatural element into the story subtly.  The supernatural is not the centre of the story.  It's about death and what you leave behind, from the perspective of family.  It's about loss, what you think you are willing to give up and if it is really worth it in the end.

Susan Tsui's stories were fantastic.  I only wish there were more of them.  I'm really looking forward to reading more of her work.

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