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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Truths of Illusion is a collection of short literary fiction stories written by Belangela G. Tarazona. The first two stories stand alone, but the remaining three are linked by a common thread. At the Confessional and Other Calamities is the story of a young girl who’s been assigned by her mother to escort her grandmother, Granny Piedad, to church on Sundays. Her mother informs her that she will be getting 5 cents each Sunday for doing so, which she can spend on whatever she likes. Granny Piedad is not that easy to get along with, however, as she orders Caridad to wear embarrassing clothing and insists that she confess her sins to the village priest. Caridad works hard at amassing interesting sins for those weekly visits to the confessional and has noticed that the priest is not terribly familiar with the Bible.
Belangela G. Tarazona's literary fiction collection, Truths of Illusion, has an immediacy that seemed to make me forget the present time and place in favor of the little town of La Neblina. I loved Caridad's story in At the Confessional, especially her conversations with the priest and her issues of loyalty to her friend. The tale is funny and poignant all at once, and it's also a marvelous coming of age story. The other tales in this collection are also a real treat to read, and then read again, and are, like Confessions, captivating and vibrant. I was saddened when I turned the last page and realized I would have to wait for Volume 2 before I'd get to read more tales from this gifted writer. Truths of Illusion is an exceptional collection of short stories, and it's highly recommended.