Book Review – Esther Stories

Esther Stories by Peter Orner

Orner’Â’s collection of short stories is grouped into four different parts. The first section of the book contains stories about things that are left behind, the memories that never leave us. The second section, entitled, “The Famous,” follows different people through memorable snippets of life. The last two sections are about two unrelated Jewish families living in different parts of the country. The stories weave together what is at first the garbled history of each family, told through the eyes of different members of the family. Eventually, each story becomes a part of the whole, making the reader wonder at the storytelling ability of Paul Orner.

I do not read short stories often and when I do, they often fail to snag my heart and mind. The characters are too brief, the words not strong enough to make me care in just a handful of pages. Orner succeeds in creating beautiful stories that are more real in two pages than whole novels that I have held. Orner uses words the way all short story writers should, vividivd colors of a canvas.

The line I had to reread many times because of the truth and memory in it was from one of the stories entitled “Sitting Theodore”” :

I’Â’ve had enough of my own blind sides to know that while it may be easy to clear away the wreckage, it’s much harder to stop fingering your scars.

Highly Recommended: Short stories lend themselves to reading on the fly and this one will make those brief moments of reading something wonderful.