Brendan Mathews shows a great facility for capturing the power and powerlessness of communication in his collection of short stories, This is Not A Love Song. Each entry in the collection has a distinct style and mood, with varying points-of-view and characterization. All, however, serve to demonstrate how people’s basic need to connect with each other is thwarted when true understanding is elusive or temporary. The stories we tell each other are self-filtered and the essentials can be lost in translation. The ten tales are all well-written and engaging with unique characters-starting with a survivor of the Bosnian War visiting the U.S. and ending with or a circus clown faced with unrequited love. Mathews is an interesting storyteller, and This is Not A Love Song is hopefully only the first of many collections of stories he will share with his readers.
Thanks to Hachette Book Group (Little Brown and Company) and Edelweiss for an ARC of this book in exchange for an objective review.