A Tour of Souls by Diana Modica
Release Date: August 8, 2016
Genre: Anthology, Contemporary, Fantasy
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Goodreads ~ Amazon
A Tour of Souls is a compilation of poems and short stories touching on various lives. Take the story, Henry, for example - a young albino man in the 1800s falls in love with an African giantess while they tour with the Circus of Freaks. In Living with Ghosts, a woman tries to cope with the loss of her husband and daughter. Pathways finds a woman lost in the woods, revisiting a scene from her youth which she thought was a dream. A desperate reporter in The Interview seeks the meaning of life from a homeless woman. A Tour of Souls gives the reader glimpses of souls that may reflect or repulse their own feelings.
A mix of poetry and short stories, A Tour of Souls is an exploration of humanity via different people and their different perceptions of life.
Katherine - a story of a daughter's love, Katherine is harsh, gritty, and cathartic. It details a mother's life, her dreams versus her reality. It's lovingly told, although the least smoothly written due to the personal nature. Modica honors a woman's life, both the good and bad, hopefully finding understanding, forgiveness, and peace.
Desperation - real life or a daydream? Desperation is a quick story of a women daydreaming about an encounter with the an of her dreams only to awaken and realize he wasn't quite dreamy. The takeaway for me was that real life isn't always as glamorous as we envision.
Henry Bloom - richly conveyed, a sort of retelling of Romeo and Juliet - two people brought together by their vast differences, kept apart by prejudice. I liked the detail and the play on Bloom in the title and its meaning throughout the story.
In the End - ultimately, a story of hope, In the End takes us on a journey with twelve souls traveling Earth for centuries looking for life, questioning faith, existence...
Island Princess - a story of a young woman losing herself in an attempt to attain perfection. I felt this story made a statement about vanity.
Living With Ghosts - heartbreaking story of loss. Living With Ghosts explores how loss affects a person, how a person might go on living as a shell of their former self.
Pathways - a story about life, treading a certain path, getting lost or taking the wrong path but eventually finding your way home.
The Elephant and the Sparrow - a parable or a fable about humanity and our disregard for others, for Earth, in our quest to fulfill all our needs.
The Interview - injecting a little humor into the collection, The Interview deals with prejudice as a homeless woman tries to teach her interviewer the meaning of life.
Storm - I think Storm is a statement on how/why children of Earth wreak the havoc they do - and what will become us Earth if something isn't done. In the end, I felt it was hopeful.
Life - this poem really spoke to me:
Shoulder the load
Heavy, but manageable
I try my footing
Awkward, but steady
I gaze down the road
The Bell - one of my favorite stories, The Bell explores the consequences of choosing a path in life and later deciding maybe you chose wrongly but knowing that with the right person by your side, you'll persevere.
The Bus Stop - once again, ironic humor is injected into the collection. The Bus Stop tells the story of a woman who witnesses all the goings-on in the neighborhood where she waits for a bus every day. The irony is in her thinking the folks of the neighborhood probably have certain perceptions of her or don't notice her at all and her being guilty of the same.
All the poems and stories flowed well together, the poems harbingers of what the stories would entail. A few of the stories, I'd have to dig deeper into to make sure I'm understanding but I felt they all conveyed a message. Each of the poems and stories incorporated themes which were introduced in Katherine and I felt it made the collection cohesive. A Tour of Souls is a tour of life, each poem and story a study in a facet of humanity - beautiful and ugly. In the end we find humans have myriad foibles but there is hope for us.