review

Lucia’s Eyes by Marina Sonkina

Lucia’s Eyes by Marina Sonkina
Guernica Editions
Publication Date:  April 25, 2011
Source:  Publisher via NetGalley
Lucia’s Eyes features characters young and old living in a number of countries.  My favorite stories are “Tractorina’s Travels,” which is the story of an old woman looking back at her life growing up in Russia as she prepares to move out of her lifelong home in Moscow to be with her stepson, and “Runic Alphabet”, a briefer story about a man remembering a long-dead mistress as he buys and plants a Japanese snowbell tree that reminds him of her.
These stories feel like they could all be expanded to fulllength novels:  “Carmelita” about an older man’s love affair with a younger woman painter he meets while visiting an oceanside Mexican village, as well as “Christmas Tango,” told by an unemployed Canadian man becomes obsessed with tango. They feel like they could be expanded into novels because the characters are quite richly developed, which is quite a trick for a short story.It’s a bit difficult to say much more about these stories without giving away the pleasures of reading them, that is, without giving awaythe details of the characters lives that they reveal as they look back at key scenes in their lives.  It’s a melancholy collection of stories, but somehow still hopeful.

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