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Reviewed by Neil A White for Readers' Favorite
From Australian author C.V. Williams comes an enchanting eclectic collection of short stories titled A Grain of Truth a Pinch of Salt. This compilation brings together tales of familial struggles, love, protection, exploration, health, and aging. And, under her sure hand, each theme is daubed in her poetic prose, creating a rich tableau that is deep with meaning. I found the stand-out selection to be "Sydney Syd," the story of an elderly couple brought together by chance, both having lost a spouse through illness, but rediscovering a new zest for life, albeit fleeting, in their companionship. Their brief time together poignantly reflects the pain we knowingly put ourselves through for those few treasured moments of joy.
An over-arching theme of her lyrical tales is the use of symbolism and imagery that melds together Buddhist/Hindu mysticism with the one-with-the-earth beliefs of Australia’s indigenous peoples. Her use of nature’s beauty as a means of coming to terms with life’s many twists and turns is both inspired and inspiring. For example, from the final pages of “No Title,” which closes out her work, comes: “Red earth, brown soil, black mud, silver quartz rock, buff sandstone, cream-coloured sand. Climbing, running, leaping. Scouring for plants, painting story, cutting skin to let the red sap spurt.” In A Grain of Truth a Pinch of Salt, Ms. Williams - best known for her biographical works - makes an impressive leap with her first foray into the fictional world. One can only hope there is more to come from this talented writer.