I first came across ‘Disappointment’ when I started following Write Out Publishing on Instagram in January. A fairly new publishing house; one of its central principles are that good voices should never go unheard, and it was originally founded by a writer for writers. That’s why they seek to find works of fiction and non-fiction that tell engaging stories about people, places and events in a unique voice.
What comes from this then is an honest, raw and prudent story like ‘Disappointment’.
Being the first short story I browsed on Write Out’s website, I read the blurb and then purchased it. I didn’t know what to expect. Was it going to be too brutal? Would there be some sort of enlightenment achieved at the end by the narrator? Or would I cry – like I usually did when I read something painstakingly sad.
Well, Disappointment sure didn’t disappointment me! (See what I did there?)
The story takes you on a mini trek into the adverse reality of the narrator, Miriam’s life. Miriam is a teenage girl brought up in the shadows of an alcoholic and self-destructive mother who is Miriam’s biggest – unreasonable – critic by day, and a stiletto striding, red-dress wearing hooker by night. The ghastly effects of such an implosive parent are evident from the initiation of the story, where Nadia describes the ‘accident’ of Miriam’s conception as being a huge disappointment.
Is there any potential for upheaval in Miriam’s life? Surprisingly, there is. Damien. Sweet, sweet Damien – the subject of Miriam’s fledgling affection. Her teenage crush. Damien is a metaphor for freedom in Miriam’s life. That’s what Miriam thinks anyway. She’ll even take up smoking and drinking for him when she’s with him – the very things that her mother has already sold her soul to.
For me, the climax of the story is symbolic of bitter-sweet freedom. It’s the kind of finale which shows you that sometimes in not getting what you want; you receive the biggest gift of all. Miriam thinks that it shows her life is a big disappointment. But I think it shows the possibility of it getting better in the future; a future – which at this point – the reader cannot clearly fathom.
Nadia’s writing style is completely organic throughout the story. It doesn’t falter in its ability to engage the reader, urging them to empathise with Miriam’s unfortunate plight. Reading just the first line produced a storm of emotions within me, and those emotions remained until the end. Nadia is direct as well as sincere. She doesn’t beat around the bush and gets right to it which is what makes the story more appealing.
The story is fast-paced and edgy, providing the reader with enough background that creates a rough image of how Miriam’s past must’ve been without giving too much away. Therefore, the reader is left inquiring throughout and even after the story finishes.
In a post about Disappointment, Nadia ponders over a possibility:
“But the most overwhelming question in my mind – what if Disappointment was the only thing I’ve written or will ever write, that will make it? This is the thought that disturbs my nightly sleep.”
Well, let me reassure you Nadia that Disappointment is the initiation of a wonderful expedition that you will trod on with your readers, one which will just keep getting better!
For those of you who love a griping short story, I suggest heading over to Write Out Publishing and purchasing Disappointment. 10% of their profits go to a charity of their authors’ choice. A publishing house with a sincere incentive, love it!
Well, that was my very first short story review and I hoped you guys enjoyed reading it. I would love to know your honest opinion and any suggestions on how I can improve my ‘reviewing skills’.
Until then, happy reading!