I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I’ll be honest. Pieces Like Pottery is far from my usual fare. I’m not usually a fan of short fiction, even in my favourite genres. The title called to me though. It conjured images of pot sherds being carefully collected by an archaeologist and this spoke to me of memory, ancestry, and inheritance.
Each story deals with themes of loss and sorrow, forgiveness and redemption, and above all else, acceptance. We see how people differ in their expressions of these things. Some people can’t let go, others have to let go. Forgiveness and acceptance can come easy, or may never come at all.
The stories weave around and through one another. People from one story touch the lives of others in passing. Each story tugged my heart in one way or another.
The very first story hit rather hard. The circumstances were quite different, but the story conjured memories of my cousin, slain in a gas store robbery, and the lessons of forgiveness I learned from such an abrupt loss. The story ‘Expect Dragons’ also hit hard, drawing forth memories of a summer learning graceful acceptance of the inevitable as my grandmother succumbed to acute renal failure.
My favourite story, though, was the last one. ‘The Ballad of Love and Hate’ invites deep introspection of one’s life and relationships. This story also showcases the degrees of separation, or lack thereof, between people, and how even the briefest passing contact influences those we interact with.
Sorrow shadows us all, death is an inevitable part of life, and learning to dance with it rather than fight or rail, well that’s really the only way to go. Death comes for us all, and it is an end, yes, but it is also a beginning.
Buri’s Pieces Like Pottery is a beautiful meandering series of snapshots portraying humanity at its most vulnerable and precious. I found it to be well-written, and captivating from the beginning. The stories provided much food for thought.