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Mine Fields
A Collection of Short Stories
Author:
Elaine Buckley
Genre: Short Stories

Registry #: shs003

 

In her collection of short stories, Elaine Buckley explores the themes of betrayal and loss. Although each story takes place in a different time period and setting, each main character finds him/herself at the mercy of powerful forces. The forces range from the power of nature, to powers of deceit and disloyalty. Each character trusts someone who has power over the future, and in each case betrayal waits. The most powerful forces, those of ignorance and superstition, are revealed in "The Fever." Here, a well-intentioned family treats Ruth, who is sick with Rheumatic Fever, with leeches, Holy Water and prayers while bacteria ravage her heart.

In "An Appetite for Life" a husband does everything to please his discontented wife who abandons him and their newborn son to run away with a new lover. A young relative observes the unfolding events that are not given much attention by other family members. The family focus on food, alcohol, material goods and family protocol doesn't allow acknowledgment of the man's suffering. This is betrayal on a subtler level for the young observer who learns that things concerned with emotions and human suffering somehow need to be hidden away.

"The Sea Scout" is a picture of a young woman's fiancÚ when he was a young boy. She believes he is the love of her life and places her trust in him. Pregnant with his child, she discovers he isn't the man she had created in her mind.

A young boy grows up with an unstable, alcoholic mother in "The Fishing Trip." He thinks he has found stability and a father figure in his life when his mother attracts a boyfriend into their lives. Eventually, the mother becomes jealous of the relationship developing between her boyfriend and her son and ends her affair. The boy, with a taste of something wonderful, finds himself abandoned in the end. Betrayal and loss are powerful factors in these stories and their impact is reflected as the author develops her characters.

 

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