I haven’t read Amelia Gray prior to this book and I was wondering Why Not and honestly I could draw only one conclusion: I was a fool but not for long as I have discovered her writing and she is beyond excellence. AM/PM takes you to areas and places you can’t imagine. I had a tough time writing this review, because this book is not an easy read as well. It is challenging and it stretches your mind and imagination, so for one: Be prepared.
This book looks like flash fiction, and that’s a shame because I think it may turn off some people who would enjoy this book. Rather it’s just a bunch of short kind of interconnected little episodes from a recurring group of peoples’ lives. From the banal to the outright absurd; to I guess what would be harsh rules for cats followed by a cats argument for why they should have ownership over something they have made warm with their body and cozy with their claws.
AM/PM is a collection of 120 micro stories, all only about 100-200 words. Many may dismiss such short stories, but truly, these quick reads had more heart than a lot of other short stories I’ve read. Each story in AM/PM is a study in excellent sentences. Gray chooses her words carefully, and the result is sentences that hit you in three places all at once, sentences that can be funny, sad, and absurd. I read most of these stories at least twice, sometimes three times. These aren’t vague, self-indulgent stories written by some trend-watching wannabe. They are real, and they pack a punch.
Certain characters have their own stories while also mingling with characters from other stories, which lends the book a neat interweaving thread. We get glimpses into the most private aspects of other people’s lives, their secret loves, joys, and desperation.