Iowa City based author Jason Atkinson hasn’t always been a reader. Hoping to identify both with those who love novels and those who like reading shorter books, Atkinson has written a collection of seven short stories. Each involves someone dealing with a troubling situation, human compassion and hope.
The stories aren’t connected, but there is a recurring theme of not giving up and offering a way out for those who are struggling.
The stories include a man accused of murdering his friend; a man who was once respected in his community who has found himself homeless; a lonely man whose life is changed by a chance meeting in a coffee shop; a scientist who gets involved in a government conspiracy; and a brother who says his final goodbye.
But my favorite stories involve a runaway teenager on a train and a checkout clerk who brings joy to a family at Christmas. Both left me wanting to know more. Maybe it has to do with my own interests or maybe because these two stories felt real, but Atkinson was spot on in his descriptions.
Since these are short stories, they are without the details I’m used but they still include depth and description. The only story I felt was too rushed and contrived was the scientist story. It didn’t seem to go with the rest of the collection.
Overall, I enjoyed this collection because each offers a glimmer of hope the person would recover from his situation.