Title: The Sense of Touch written by Ron Parsons
Genre: Fiction – Short Story Collection
Published by Aqueous Books
Page count: 250
Sprung from the variously lush, rugged, and frozen emotional landscapes of the north country, this luminous collection of stories captures the progress of a diverse ensemble of souls as they struggle to uncover themselves and negotiate a meaningful communion, of any kind, with the world around them. A brilliant but troubled Bangladeshi physics student searches for balance, acceptance, and his own extraordinary destiny after his father disappears. When a Halloween blizzard immobilizes Minneapolis, a young woman is forced to confront the snow-bound nature of her own relationships and emotions. During an excursion to an idyllic swimming hole hidden in the Black Hills, two old friends unexpectedly compete for the affections of an irresistible, though married, Lakota woman. Like a mythical expedition to reach the horizon or the quest to distill truth from the beauty around us, the revelation confirmed by these imaginative stories – elegant, sometimes jarring, always wonderfully absurd – is that the very act of reaching is itself a form of touch. (Goodreads)
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Sense of Touch! I’d like to thank both Ron Parsons and TLC Book tours for allowing me to be a part of the tour and for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t typically consider myself a fan of short story collections but I’m finding out fast that it is mostly because I just don’t have a lot of experience reading them. This is the second short story collection I’ve read in the past year and I must admit that I am definitely enjoying this previously unexplored territory. I jumped at the chance to read and review The Sense of Touch because of this and also because the description (as you can read above) just drew me in.
I found the complexity of each of Parson’s stories to be rather engaging. I enjoy a story that makes me think beyond the surface…read between the lines. I love stories that teach me something or that can translate it’s meaning into life. Parson’s definitely has this ability. I felt that each story in this book discusses the many ways that people or events touch us, our lives and our thoughts. This book emphasizes the importance of the impact of people and places in our lives even if just for a brief moment, one night or years. The characters really spoke to me as well, although they were not intricately described characters as is possible in a novel, I really felt like they were described in such a way that I could see them clearly and relate to them clearly. I love that the characters are all flawed in their own small ways and searching for something or someone whether it be themselves or just a connection.
I also enjoyed the setting of the stories of this book, the Midwest and I love the ways in which Parson’s describes these settings and the way the characters interact with the environment especially in The Black Hills and Her Heart is Navigated. Parson’s writing is beautiful, elegant and descriptive to the point where I felt like I could touch the snow he described or see the sky as he wrote it. Just beautiful.
While I don’t think that this short story collection (or even short story collections in general) are for everyone, I loved this collection. I gave this book a rating of 4 out of 5 because of the wonderful writing, the depth of the stories and the fact that I could not stop reading this book!
About the Author
RON PARSONS is a writer living in Sioux Falls. Born in Michigan and raised in South Dakota, he was inspired to begin writing fiction in Minneapolis while attending the University of Minnesota. His short stories have appeared In literary magazines such as The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, The Briar Cliff Review, Flyway, and The Onion.