Something Else Entirely

Collected Works

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
242 Pages
Reviewed on 11/19/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

Donna Lee Davis combines finely crafted prose and poetry in Something Else Entirely. This compilation of stories touches your heart, leaving a lingering impression. The short stories tell tales of aging, death, love lost, love found, friendship, family devotion and the power of forgiveness. The poetry of prayers reveals a soul surrendered to God. Each treasured story, beloved and simple, holds a profound truth. Sincere, heartfelt, real and sacred, this anthology reads like butter on warm bread, smoothly melting into the recesses of the soul. Something Else Entirely is precisely that; a fictional collection, rare and unique.

Something Else Entirely by Donna Lee Davis narrates genuine stories of life. Storytelling is a gift. Donna Lee Davis creatively presents the treasures of life, love, and purpose through her short stories and poetry. In keeping with the elements of short story writing, there is little to no fluff. The descriptions are precise and pure. The characters are revealed quickly, often through the point of view of a nameless narrator. The mood is obvious from the opening paragraph, immediately drawing you into the conflict of the story. The novella, Dust and Shadow, plunges you into the story without hesitation. I was instantly immersed in the story, even though I had not read Matter of Discretion.

As I was preparing to write this review, I pondered which story was my favorite; not an easy decision. I truly enjoyed Something Else Entirely as I believe we all have a story to tell and it is worth telling, even if it is not understood by one and all. However, Pappy’s Girl and The Interview both include such meaningful words that “unmask the soul.” The opening lines of The Interview begin with eternal truth: "there are moments in life which offer a grace that can change a life forever.” Something Else Entirely graces us with meaningful stories to hold close and ponder for a lifetime.

K.C. Finn

Something Else Entirely is a volume that collects together the illustrated short stories of author Donna Lee Davis, as well as collected poems and a novella. For readers familiar with Davis’s previous work, the novella Dust and Shadow forms the sequel and companion to her full-length novel Matter of Discretion, whilst there are also individual, stand-alone short stories and a few of what the author terms ‘prayer poems’ for readers to consider. One non-fiction essay accompanies the fiction works, and there is additional material included for book clubs who may wish to study the works together. What results is a comprehensive picture of the author and her wide variety of work to date.

As an anthology work, this volume of extensive and varied prose and poetry really speaks to breadth of talent that author Donna Lee Davis possesses. Whilst it is somewhat disparate in the reading experience because the works are so different, it’s clear to see that the narration and construction of language are always on point. The stories themselves vary on theme and ideas discussed, taking us through the full gamut of human emotion, so there is always something to launch into whatever your mood. What really centers the work is the realism that Davis brings to each of her characters, who are exceedingly well developed throughout and drive each story home with committed dialogue and realistic presentation of thought and speech. Overall, Something Else Entirely provides an excellent introduction to author Donna Lee Davis and her many talents.

Rabia Tanveer

Something Else Entirely: Collected Works by Donna Lee Davis is a collection of short stories that teach you a lesson about life and how taking one step at a time can make a whole world of difference. The book contains short stories and a few poems, all of which center around the lives of characters as they figure out what living is all about. The opening story, Something Else Entirely, is just as the name reflects. The story Ghost Story is something that will give you a lot to think about and shake you to the core. However, my absolute favorite in this collection is called Where the Heart Is. The familial bonds of the siblings and their father, the father trying to do his best for his children and trying to find a bond that will draw them together, had me reading on. Dust and Shadow is a sequel to a previous novel by the author and fans will appreciate an insight into the lives of the characters after it.

I enjoyed how wholesome and entertaining each story was. I was also amazed at how emotionally comprehensive and sound the characters were. Each story is a slice of life, one that transports you into the lives of the characters for just a moment so you can appreciate each story on a personal level. The poems had a depth to them, they may be small but they pack a punch of intensity that left me breathless. I read them several times to decipher more meanings from them and understand them more. I loved the narrative style; it was ambiguous yet so clear in its meaning that I just devoured each story!