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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
The Best Good Horse: And Other Short Stories by J. Reeder Archuleta is a collection of 14 short stories that focus on ordinary people whose lives rely on work. A satisfying collection of human triumph and courage, each story introduces readers to a new set of characters who fight, claw and battle their way out of the mess to become a survivor. Stories like Imperfections, Chapo, The Best Good Horse, and Last Game at Kezar provide readers with a look at how shitty life can be, but if you are a survivor, you can pull through. A strange yet welcoming mixture of desperation, hope, and comfort, these stories proved to be entertaining as well as mind-opening at the same time.
Author J. Reeder Archuleta has compiled a comprehensive collection that gives readers multiple opportunities to find the character that speaks to them and makes them feel connected. Each story has a strong character(s), a solid story, and a set goal. These three qualities not only make the reading experience better but make the stories entertaining. My favorite story is “A Prayer to St. Michael” and I love Adam's brother’s struggles to settle in the civilian world and find his place in the small town. “Imperfections” is a close second. Luisa’s story is as powerful as it is heartbreaking. Of course, “The Best Good Horse” is hopeful and encouraging. The language of these stories is simple yet powerful. You cannot help but feel involved in each of the stories and experience it all in your mind. The pace is perfect and unique to each story. You will find that each story has a protagonist who is a little desperate but not ready to give up just yet. And sometimes, this is all we need to know to do better and fight a little harder. Fantastic, complete, and entertaining.