Book Reviews

A RoamingReads Hopeful Monsters by Roger McKnight

What Da Cover Says: Roger McKnight’s debut collection depicts individuals hampered by hardship, self-doubt, and societal indifference, who thanks to circumstance or chance, find glimmers of hope in life’s more inauspicious moments. Hopeful Monsters is a fictional reflection on Minnesota’s people that explores the state’s transformation from a homogeneous northern European ethnic enclave to a multi-national American state. Love, loss, and longing cross the globe from Somalia and Sweden to Maine and Minnesota as everyday folk struggle for self-realization. Idyllic lake sides and scorching city streets provide authentic backdrops for a collection that shines a flickering light on vital global social issues. Read and expect howling winds, both literal and figurative, directed your way by a writer of immense talent.

What I Says: What a magnificent piece of story-telling this is, 17 short stories sharing with the reader the lives of a group of people in Minnesota, we witness all their ups and downs, it doesn’t matter how short the story is you still want the best for them, McKnight’s clever writing gives you that brief glimpse of hope in each story that just maybe things will turn out alright.

Whilst reading these stories I’ve tried to look to see if there was a theme, there are certainly links between the stories if you look carefully but I wasn’t sure about a higher level theme, the best I could come up with is Faith. All kinds of Faith, in a higher being, the kindness of strangers, Faith in yourself to do the right thing, Faith that the stranger you are walking around a lake with isn’t going to murder you, but mostly Faith in that an event is meant to be. Regardless about how dark the characters life is you still get that uplifting feeling. The last story though, just Wow! Focused around an old washing machine it brings together so many elements from the previous stories, each time I recognised something I couldn’t help smiling.

I have been very impressed with this book, it is more complex than most and demands your full attention so that you don’t miss a thing.

This was part of Storgy’s #Roamingread experience, read the book, review the book and pass it on. I love how much effort has been put into this, a map to track the books journey, an old fashioned library slip to book out the book and a very stylish bag to contain it all. Massive thanks to Storgy for including me in this one. I hope that this book does get to travel, I’ll leave links to other reviewers below.

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