Happiness is a Collage by Gita V. Reddy
Published by author on August 4, 2018
Genre(s): fiction, short stories
Format & Length: e-book, 204
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This collection of fifteen stories leads the reader into a world that is at once Indian and universal. The stories explore love, life, loss, and relationships.
A painter derives inspiration from a long lost love. Every night after going to bed, a woman scours a vast desert for her missing husband. A young woman strides through two worlds. A son experiences the miracle of his father’s immense love. An actor’s wife struggles to keep her husband from slipping into his reel life. And a busy professional tries to factor in pregnancy and motherhood into her hectic life.
Among those traversing this space are a henpecked billionaire, a homeless boy, a middle-aged wife dealing with infidelity, and a seeker finding solace with a lion and a deer.
Happiness is a Collage follows the author’s well-received collection, A Tapestry of Tears.
After having enjoyed Gita Reddy’s previous collection of short stories, A Tapestry of Tears, I was excited to find out she had a new one.
“Who am I?” “What am I?” “Why am I?”
The stories in Happiness is a Collage explore a variety of themes through the lens of Indian culture, including self, love, marriage, family, and more. Although there are many common themes amongst the stories, each was different and distinct. And despite having a different background from anyone in this book, it was incredibly easy to understand and empathize with the characters.
I always find short story collections to have some pieces that are stronger than others, and that was also true here. All of them were enjoyable reading; the author’s writing style works well with this type of storytelling, packing a punch to make a point. But some stood out more than others for me. My favorites included: The Vigil, about an expectant mother dealing with her pregnancy like another business venture; The Seeker, about a man always searching for a deeper truth; and Reflection, about two women who meet on a train and reflect on their lives.
“A journey was so much like life. It went ahead on a predestined course, at a pace you could do nothing about. You may start the journey with a set of people but you could never be sure who would join you on the way, or leave you to move on.”
In the end, Happiness is a Collage was a satisfying reading experience and I’d recommend it to anyone who is a fan of short stories.
*Many thanks to the author for providing this edition in exchange for an honest review.