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Reviewed by Alex Ndirangu for Readers' Favorite
From closed schools, canceled work deals, spikes in depression and suicides, crumbling economies, and broken family ties and relationships, the devastation caused by COVID-19 attacked societies around the world at their core. Stories Written Along COVID Walls, an anthology by Melissa R. Mendelson, offers a powerful antidote to the struggles and loss: a window into other people's lives who suffered the same fate but survived and how they did it, and those who lost the battle to the pandemic and what was left of their loved ones. In a complicated love affair, a COVID-immune young woman struggles to keep her baby far from home amid the crisis. In a near-broken family, a mother has been away for way too long in the danger zone, and her son can only pray she is safe and much much more.
Mendelson's creativity ensures each tale contained unique elements distinct from the rest. I found the characterization wonderfully done, as the characters fulfilled their roles and foregrounded the author's ideas. Their personalities and drives through dealing with the pandemic are also familiar. The book covers themes of various profound issues societies experienced during the pandemic. They include death, broken relationships, grief, suicide, isolation, and financial struggles. While some of the stories in the book have a calming and relaxing vibe that gives hope and encouragement, others are laced with intriguing, well-described, fast-paced action that will give the reader an adrenaline rush. The plots are excellently concluded in suspense, and each cathartic element will keep anyone yearning for more. If you are searching for a book that covers much of the emotional and practical ground that many people traveled during the COVID-19 pandemic, Stories Written Along COVID Walls is the book for you.