The Bench by F.C. Malby

The BenchThe Bench by F.C. Malby

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this book via LibraryThing and despite that kind and generous consideration my candid thoughts appear below.

This is where I usually put the plot summary but since it’s hard to say very much about a 10-minute read without spoiling it completely, I’ll just say that a sad and hopeless man has a very uplifting encounter with an incredibly eerie and uplifting young lady.

Qualitatively speaking, the tone of this story was wonderful. The depiction of the little girl is downright spooky and the visual impression she makes on the reader is indelible. Malby has chosen an interesting setting and an unlikely cast of characters to bring us what I chose to interpret as a message of hope. It’s very impactful for something that takes longer to load on the Kindle than it does to read. Oftentimes I find myself wishing that short stories were drawn out into fuller treatments but in this case, not an iota. Perfect length as it stands.

The ending of this one, which I will only allude to by referring to “the ending” is, to put it lightly, rather shocking. One can anticipate rife and vigorous discussion if you choose to read this one in book club. On the whole though, a very solid and well-crafted little story. Maybe there’s hope for us after all if we just choose to hold on to what’s important, eh?

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