Reviewed by Karen Hesson for Readers' Favorite
When Strange Calls You Home by Kelly Punton is an excellent collection of twelve short stories. A teenage girl tries to figure out what she wants from her somewhat dull life. A man takes a chance on an epic space adventure. Another man struggles with the grief and pain of missing his deceased wife. There is a dark retelling of a classic children’s fairy tale and a fascinating story about an oppressed and war-torn society. A young girl has questions about a grandfather she’s never known. A woman feels a deep connection to a stranger on a train, and a man discovers his love for art and the way it makes him feel. When Strange Calls You Home is filled with memorable and engaging stories.
Kelly Punton does a fabulous job of writing exciting and complete short stories. Many short stories that I’ve read feel too brief, or seem to cut off right in the middle before anything has really happened—each story in When Strange Calls You Home, though, felt whole. None left me confused or with a need for more details. The characters were beautifully written, with so many varied perspectives. I loved the little bits of mysticism that were woven into such seemingly ordinary lives. I also profoundly related to the theme of needing and searching for more that ran through each story. Needing more answers, more adventure, more opportunity, more spiritual connections are the very things that drive human life. These were beautifully written stories, and I know that many of the descriptions will stay with me.