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Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite
I stood in awe of the amazing writing skills of William H. Coles in Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016. This collection of short stories will not leave you with that fuzzy feeling of happy endings, but you will view humanity in times of our darker acts. Each mesmerizing piece touches a raw nerve that leaves you questioning choices that were made. After each story, I was thinking “this is the one is my favorite” until I finished the next story. I am left inspired as I dig deeper into my own thoughts of how I would have handled the dilemma these characters faced. Speaking of the Dead was the most thought-provoking story to me, but everyone left its mark in my thoughts.
It is hard to explain the depth of writing put into Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016. William H. Coles has mastered the art of drawing his readers into the story and leaving them to ponder the road his characters traveled, and for some the price they would pay for freedom. Since all the pieces are short, they go by quickly, and each has its own topic and theme. The main thought throughout the book would seem to be the path traveled when the truth is revealed. The characters face speaking kindly in an unkind situation, putting their life before a broken child, keeping faith in themselves when others believe the worse, and people facing their greatest adversary. Overall, every well-written story touches on your core belief in people and the path one chooses in life.