Breathe is a lovely account of a relationship with an elderly relative and shared memories of a place that is gradually being demolished.
In The Butterfly Bowl, Debbie inherits a Chinese bowl from her great-great-grandfather. It’s plain and white but, when filled with water, reveals a beautiful secret. When a man enters Debbie’s life, the bowl becomes the object of contention and the success or destruction of their relationship pivots around the bowl.
The stories in this collection are quiet and beautifully written. Catherine Czerkawska is an award-winning playwright and accomplished novelist. I loved her novel The Curiosity Cabinet and the Polish family saga based partly on her own family history - The Amber Heart. Another novel, Bird of Passage, has also had rave reviews. The stories in A Quiet Afternoon in the Museum of Torture aren’t ground breaking experimental fiction, just human experiences and relationships portrayed with empathy and considerable style. If you like contemporary short fiction, by authors such as Polly Sampson (Perfect Lives) or Helen Simpson then you’ll enjoy this book.
Catherine blogs here. http://www.wordarts.blogspot.co.uk/