Bright Yellow Souls

An Anthology of Short Stories

Fiction - Anthology
158 Pages
Reviewed on 02/13/2020
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Author Biography

Luca Favaro lives in Thousand Oaks, California. He's an Italian writer and a Registered Nurse. In Italy he published four books; three short story anthologies, and the novel "Il tempo senza ore". He won several literary prizes, and from his novel was made a theater show: "Il tempo senza ore show". He moved from Venice to Thousand Oaks on 2019.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Bright Yellow Souls is a collection of heart-warming accounts in which Luca Favaro recounts his experiences while working as a nurse and taking care of elderly patients. Growing up, Favaro had an estranged relationship with his father. As an escape route from what his parents had planned for his future, he decided to enroll in nursing school. Little did he know that the decision would change the course of his life, enabling him to connect deeply with the most vulnerable by taking caring care of them and receiving so much in return. The stories include pondering on the value of every person and the brevity of life. It captures the profound moments towards the end of life through accounts such as those of eighty-six-year-old Giobatta and eighty-five-year-old Veronica, whose inspiring love renewed their youth in their old age.

Bright Yellow Souls by Luca Favaro features moving characters whose stories are many times heart-breaking but also moving and enlightening such as in the story about Sergio, a cheerful man who, though unwell, always exuded joy that lit a spark in every person he met. The stories are set in the quaint small town of Treviso, situated in Northern Italy. The work also offers information on the culture which adds to the setting of the stories in this book. A lot can be gleaned from the work including how caring for the suffering comes with a lifelong treasure of memories and important lessons. Bright Yellow Souls is a life-changing collection of stories that examine the last moments of different patients while reflecting on the gift of life.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

The human soul is a complicated mechanism. Often the human soul is a maze of colors – vibrant and self-defining. For some, life feels like a burden, one that goes on to infinity and beyond. While reading Luca Favaro’s first story, The Face of Loneliness in his collection of short stories, Bright Yellow Souls, I could feel the compassion in the author’s voice as he reached out in his capacity as a nurse, a caregiver, to those in their ‘golden’ years who were very much alone. It made me remember a dear friend, who was approaching 100, writing to me (I believe it was her last letter to me before she passed) and telling me that “sometimes God just lets us live too long.” In Luca’s story, there are many such sad souls who wonder why they are still alive, while others who are younger pass on. It’s a burden on the soul, something that cannot be understood in its full complexity without reaching out to another and loving that person, in the many different ways that love exists.

Bright Yellow Souls continues in this pensive vein of reflecting on the human condition. Luca Favaro's words speak volumes on the depth and complexities of life; his words are powerful and profound exclamations about the human soul; what it is that makes us human. Everything he writes about comes from his personal experiences: as a caregiver for the elderly, as a nurse in the local hospital, as a friend, as a son and so much more. He has made connections and grown from the knowledge and power of these connections. And, more profoundly, the need for the soul to grow, to love and to be an important thread in life’s complex tapestry forever. As a nurse caring for others, he is able to provide “the real spirit of service.” And, as hard as it is, he knows there comes a time when one has to let go because death is not the end. This collection of stories is well constructed, narrated with passion and understanding, taken from anecdotes jotted in the author’s journal. A powerful introduction to what every soul needs: “The soul needs to be free of every weight in order to finally rise to eternity.” The soul is eternal. Very thought-provoking collection.

Vernita Naylor

Everyone needs love, whether you're rich or poor, and regardless of your race, religion or ethnicity. In Bright Yellow Souls: An Anthology of Short Stories, author Luca Favaro depicts the story of how Kevin, an Italian nurse in Treviso (Northern Italy near Venice) found a purpose and an escape from his own despair. Kevin realized that by taking care of sick people he would be able to give the love that he so desperately seeks. This collection of stories taken from his diary will help the reader see how simple things like saying "I love you" and showing love can help heal and mend one's heart even when facing death. Meet Angelo, Assunta, Tommaso, Clotilde, Enrico, Annalisa, Maria, Angelo, Girolamo and a host of others whose lives Kevin touched. As the story is told, the reader will discover the significance that they've played in being a part of these short stories by reading, feeling and connecting. Like many of the people mentioned in the stories, all have led different lives but their journey led to loneliness, a loveless life or being or feeling unaccepted, especially in their golden years.

I enjoyed reading this collection because it displays how touch, helping others and belonging to someone or something creates an essence of loving or feeling loved. I was addicted and couldn't stop reading this book. As I read each story, I began to feel like I was walking in Kevin's shoes, feeling the emotions and closeness of each patient that he encountered. At one point I became saddened because in life we must realize that death happens and is something that no one is able to control. The author beautifully told the story of Kevin's love for people who would have otherwise possibly been unloved, unaccepted or unwanted. "And yet, that sentence is really a magic formula, that dispels fears and sorrows and makes bloom a field full of flowers in the heart. When all is said and done, there's only one important ingredient for happiness: love," says the author. More powerful words have never been spoken. This book is a must for any library. Highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Bright Yellow Souls is a work of fiction taking the form of an anthology of short stories, each sharing a slice of life with a Christian perspective. It is aimed at audiences of all ages and was penned by author Luca Favaro. The book is a collection of short stories, with each one musing on themes of the highs and lows of life with an emphasis on the ever-constant presence of God’s love in the life of the protagonist. Kevin is a young man studying as a nurse who learns the stories of the patients he treats during his work, healing their bodies as their stories heal his soul.

Author Luca Favaro has created a heartfelt collection of works that touch on the human spirit, and whether you are a Christian or not, there is much to be learned and taken from this excellent read. The prose is poetic in style and filled with atmosphere and imagery, and the cultural backdrop of Northern Italy really gives it a different spin on the typical tales from larger, more boisterous countries. Here in the small town of Treviso, we feel real things through Kevin’s experiences, and the dialogue delivers realistic responses and snippets of conversation that many of us might have experienced or overheard in hospitals in our time. There’s a patent reality to the work which slowly sets in so as not to overwhelm, and despite some very sad and heart-breaking occasions, Favaro weaves hope into every word. Overall, Bright Yellow Souls is a must-read for fans of emotive and poignant storytelling.

Rabia Tanveer

Bright Yellow Souls: An Anthology of Short Stories by Luca Favaro is a collection of short stories about Kevin, a young man who learned that life isn’t that hard when you feel loved. Kevin was used to feeling unworthy and not good enough. He was a teenager when he realized he needed to do something for himself. So he packed his bags and decided he would do whatever it took to become a nurse. Kevin learned that being a nurse is a lot more than just taking care of a sick body. It is also about loving and caring for the souls of not just the patient, but the other people in his life. With a new purpose to give him a boost, he started to truly live and understand what life was all about.

Bright Yellow Souls: An Anthology of Short Stories is a very wholesome collection. You cannot help but feel comforted by Kevin as he navigates his life. He is the kind of man that you will find a connection with; you will realize that he is someone you could relate to. I enjoyed how he is smart enough to make the right decisions for himself but vulnerable enough to know when he made a mistake. The narrative is soothing; it almost has a rhythm that makes reading it a whole experience. I enjoyed how the author brought everything to life, he chose words that worked effectively to paint a picture in your mind. This is an incredible read, one that will make you feel humbled and hopeful at the same time.