Book Title: Shattered
Produced by: Penmancy Writers
Language & Pages: English & 284 pages
Available On: Amazon.in, ₹ 149 to buy on Kindle and free with Kindle Unlimited
The stories in the book are unlike what I have read recently. Even though the theme is ‘Shattered’, the stories cover such varied genres, age groups, timelines, and thought processes that you forget that you are reading a theme-based anthology, which is a huge plus.
Some stories are straightforward, some have multiple layers, some are based on much-written topics, and some with completely new perspectives. So, as you progress from one to the other you never know what is coming. However, what is common between all the stories is the impeccable language, the flowing narration, the sweeping emotions, and the love and care with which each story has been written and chosen.
Penmancy, a coven of creative characters, as they call themselves, are fascinated with the magic of the pen to weave new worlds with words. And ‘Shattered’ is their second anthology, a gift to the whole coven on their second anniversary, selected from the brilliant works submitted by the writers who are part of this uplifting community.
There are a total of nineteen stories, by eighteen authors and they are strung along in a narrative that leads up to each story. The narrative itself is another beautifully crafted piece highlighting the theme. It can be enjoyed separately or as a lead-up to the stories.
The stories deal with fractured minds and restless souls, torn and ruined lives to revenge sagas bordering on thrillers, to mortals bound by circumstances and paranormal to heal the shattered. All looking for closure, searching for happiness, struggling to come to terms with their fate in the end.
Shattered is like a jealous lover. It will not allow you to give it a cursory read. It demands your time and attention. You will have to immerse yourself in the stories, lost to the world around you and then only will you enjoy these stories. Shattered is not a breezy read.
But like a good lover, the book will reward you for your attention and you will walk away with stories that stay in your mind and heart for days on end; percolating, questioning, pondering the whys, and making you marvel at the ideating prowess of these writers.
While all the stories are wonderful, three of my favorites are – The Street Without Cherries, about three kids discovering friendship amidst their own misery (it is written by a 17-year-old) My Journey Beyond Life, an incredible take on Sita’s actions and how it defined the world for the future generation of women, and 1947 – An Imprecation, the lives torn and plunged into pain and despair due to partition and a serendipitous encounter.
Penmancy has set high standards for themselves with this anthology and I wish them all the best for the future offerings and look forward to reading them.