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Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Shoes for Two Soldier Sons - David Vining - A Collection of Short Stories

Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
A Collection of Short Stories
David Vining

ISBN 9781980891758
ASIN B07BZXHQ6D


This is the fifth collection of short stories by David Vining that I have read over the last 6 weeks. An author I appreciate recommended Vining’s novel, The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812. But not knowing Vining’s works I decided to pick up one of the collections of short stories. It was a wonderful collection, and before I had finished the novel I had all 5 of the collections of short stories loaded on my Kindle and ready to go.

The 5 books of short stories are:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
Mutiny!
A Boy and His Satellite

I left this one for last because it is described as:

“The American Civil War tore the nation apart. Brothers against brothers. Fathers against sons. 

Here are five fictional tales of how men and women navigated the many different facets of the conflict that rent America in two. 

A woman spy makes her way back through enemy lines to the Union. 
A young boy watches a battle from the perch in a tree and gets more than he wanted. 
A wounded soldier travels to a dead friend's home to deliver his final message. 

All and more in this special collection.”

Not being American, and not being a Civil War buff this collection had the least appear for me. The other collections focus on different themes such as: magic, Science Fiction, Mutiny, Light and Darkness, and this collection contains 5 stories about the American Civil War. All of Vining’s writings are good reads, this and one other collection garnered a solid 5/5 stars for the review and the other 3 wavered and ended up at 4/5. The stories in this volume are:

A Drink between Friends 
Making the 6:14 to Washington City 
Up a Tree 
On and Off the Carolina Coast 
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons

The stories that had the most impact upon me were the first and the last. But each of the 5 offered in this collection are masterfully written. The war between the north and the south has always been an area of study academically. The subject of much fiction, novels, TV mini-series, and movies. And even in this politically correct charged time, it is a subject that draws much attention. This is one of the best of David’s collections of short stories.

In a previous review I stated: “Writing short stories, or at least good ones is an art form unto itself. In a novel you have a lot more time and space to work things out. Great short stories need to be tightly written. David Vining has that skill. His stories are complete but often leave a reader wanting more of the story, or more stories with the characters. His stories remind me of the works of J.F. Powers.” This was a very powerful collection of stories. And though I do want more each story is complete and a great read.

This is a great collection of short stories, dive in and give these stories about the Civil War a read they will be unlike anything else on the subject you have encountered. 

Books by David Vining:
A Quest Through Winter Sleep
The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812


Collections of Short Stories:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
Mutiny!
A Boy and His Satellite



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