It can be said about this particular short story collection that not all the stories are meant to be finished or concluded. Open threads, at times, give us relaxation and a necessary illusion that keep us going on and on. Sumona Guha’s short story collection, The Night Cradles A Lonely Moon: A Collection of Short Stories, is rather an open-ended flow of emotions, wishes and feelings that never seems to stop. Though we can get an idea of which way the tide will fall, we cannot be certain of any of the conclusions. Right from the beginning, will the sailor return? Will Simone find her wishes being fulfilled? Will Mark be able to come out of his dilemma for the bygone? Well, you do love reading the short story, though.
Mamma, I Love You, the second short story, doesn’t bring the same tension as the previous one. The Night Goes On brings the charm of a concept back… Sumona has threaded all her short stories with wonderful ideas, almost peculiar, innovative execution of the themes and something new in terms of plots. However, rough editing has messed up with the flow of the short stories and sometimes it becomes larger than what could have been an ideal length and, at times, readers might feel they could have read a little further to satisfy their need for the poetic justice.
Sounds of Thunder brings the emotional side of being a daughter. I am sure readers will find and discover the same when they read this one. However, once again, the mysterious or rather very weird set-up of the short story will keep the readers excited and engaged – a girl who has five dads! Though the story ends on an expected note, it could have been bettered with the execution and flow. It seems like an idea has been picked up, treated fairly in the beginning and then dropped unexpectedly without caring for the endnote. Nevertheless, the story will certainly ring many ears.
While the book has mainly love stories with unexpected or innovative, open-ended, compelling conclusions, the odd ones will leave the readers impressed, more than the intended ones. Flow of thoughts, lines and adjustments in the paragraphs and parts might have been, or rather should have been, worked upon in a better way to help the author achieve what she might have wanted to achieve by her work. A work of fiction must be completed by working on all possible aspects of the circle that we call fiction. The author has imagination and ideas, innovation and thoughts. However, she needs to ensure that everything meets at a point where the readers can find things easily, experience the experiences characters go through and feel what the characters cherish or bear… You can feel some, in this case, and might miss many!
To sum it up, Sumona’s attempt is genuine and her execution might have left too much space for improvement that we might see in her future works. It will be a good case study for the readers who want to see what’s going on in the world of short story writing in India.
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Review by Amit for Indian Book Critics
The Night Cradles A Lonely Moon: A Collection of Short Stories by Sumona Guha – Review
- IBC Critical Rating
The Night Cradles A Lonely Moon: A Collection of Short Stories by Sumona Guha is a collection of romantic, emotional and unconventional short stories.