All Because of You

Eleven Tales of Refuge and Hope

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
124 Pages
Reviewed on 11/05/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I am the author of A Perfect Square, (Odyssey Books, September 2016), a work of literary fiction based loosely on ideas contained in my doctoral thesis, ideas developed by my daughter, pianist Elizabeth Blackthorn in her Honours dissertation in music (VCA, University of Melbourne) for which she received a 1st.


My writing has appeared in journals and websites around the world, including Paranoia Magazine, Mused Literary Review and On Line Opinion. I perform my literary works at events in a range of settings, give workshops in creative writing, and write book reviews. My reviews have appeared in Shiny New Books and Newtown Review of Books.

I have a PhD in Western Esotericism, which I received from the University of Western Sydney in 2006 for my research on the works of breakaway Theosophist Alice A Bailey, described as the ‘Mother of the New Age’.

I am currently at work on a novel, and an intriguing biography of the life and works of Alice A Bailey.

My areas of interest are the occult, spirituality and mysticism, and the idyllic island of Lanzarote.

I was born in London and have lived in Australia, Spain and the Canary Islands. I currently live near Melbourne with one of my daughters.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Melissa Tanaka for Readers' Favorite

All Because of You: Eleven Tales of Refuge and Hope is a collection of stories by Isobel Blackthorn. Powerful and poignant, Blackthorn presents several tableaux of life, reminding us that many of us are fighting various battles of our own with varying degrees of intensity and resolution. While some of the stories make it clear what the characters are seeking refuge from, others are more indistinct which creates a sense of discord that parallels the chaos of escape that so many of the characters follow. In addition, many of the stories are written in the first person which makes it easier to connect with the narrator and understand their point of view. Throughout the collection, Blackthorn utilizes rich descriptions and language to portray vivid images of the women and their lives, both the ones they are living now and the ones that they had escaped.

One of my absolute favorites in the collection was The Moon Circle, a powerful and all too real story that leaves you reeling from beginning to end. It was incredibly powerful and evoked a strong visceral reaction from me. The story focuses on a woman named Tammy and an unnamed narrator, both of whom are in a shelter, seeking refuge from men who are physically and emotionally abusive, respectively. Throughout The Moon Circle you can feel the vulnerability and fear that the women have in their hearts, but you can also feel their strength and the hope that they hold onto. Overall, All Because of You: Eleven Tales of Refuge and Hope is a powerful collection of stories that hits you hard, leaving you contemplating the good and bad of life and looking forward to the future.

Uzi - Whatever Catches My

"What I like most about the stories was how the stories started. There was no gradual world building or setting; the plot and action started right away. Each one of the stories was captivating. Another thing that I liked was the subtleness of graphic detail. Some of the stories deal with domestic violence, and as a person who gets queasy even reading about graphic violence; I appreciated how the topic was carefully handled in a way that the subject didn't lose its importance without having gory details."

Mark ODwyer

This powerful collection of stories hit me hard, and I think will do the same for anyone, men and women, leaving you thoughtful about certain relationships in your own life, and about people you may have known in these sorts of troubles, perhaps even have tried to help.

Most of the tales are narrated in the first person and by women. They seek escape from abuse and manipulation, and not always from husbands and ‘lovers’. One tormentor turns out to be a therapist, another a female ‘friend’. We meet survivors bonding in the soul-destroying shelters. We watch on as mothers, themselves survivors of dire relationships, struggle and fail to save their daughters from also being undervalued and misused.

The belief by so many victims that the blows dealt to them are somehow their own fault permeates these stories. Their tenuous grasp of self esteem, even when they’ve perhaps had years to feel safe again, is vividly portrayed in ‘Bad Good Friday’ in which a woman tries to cudgel up a sense of grief for her dead father, who we gather was cold and cruel, while all the long night someone’s locked up dog howls with its own misery.

The last three tales have a lighter touch which leads you out from the others with a sense of relief, even a smile. Two are narrated by males, and one in the third person. While this change in form might seem at first discordant, I found it fitting. A wounded person often needs a wholly different perspective - usually that of someone who at last cares, to find the sense of hope the sub-title of these stories refers to.