Three beautifully crafted short stories that lean to the supernatural.
In We'll Always Have Tea & Other Stories by Rajendra Shepherd, narrator John Moran majestically breathes the characters to full-blooded life.
"We'll Always Have Tea" is a generous contemplation on love: Derek misses his wife Deidre - is she really still talking to him through signs, or is he imagining things?
In "Of Thosalus Born", a baby angel is found in a shanty in the Caribbean. Attention-seeking schoolboy Thosalus struggles as his new angel brother captures the limelight in this Gothic tale.
We get messy in "The Maenad's Touch". A high school janitor finds his world screwed to holy hell by Priscilla, a maverick woman whose tendrils eventually take grip of his life. Was his fall inevitable in Priscilla's wake?
Rajendra is a writer, artist, and academic who works at the University of the West Indies. His writing has been nominated for prizes and appears in journals and magazines.
John Moran is a master of voice acting who inhabits these characters. His moving portrayals are guaranteed to get under your skin...and may well change you forever.
I found each story---from gentle to rough--never dull as they moved along to very satisfying conclusions! The reader, Mr. Moran, gave each character distinctive qualities which kept the telling of the tales riveting. I'm hesitant to reveal the nature of the stories, because even with few words, I may spoil the surprises. I will say that the first story was about kind people and the past. The second story was a fanciful tale of something found and the family that found it. And about the third story, I'll say it's definitely for a mature audience!
About that last one, because of the choice of characterization Mr. Moran used, I felt I was listening to an older version of the Macolm McDowell character from his most famous movie--it's not, but with that voice in my mind and ears, it made the story come far more alive than just by reading it!
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Who was your favorite character and why?
Derek. His story was so touching and his lingering moments remembering his departed wife brought me to tears. The narrative was lyrical and the beautiful passages left me wishing that he could have his dear Deirdre return for those lovely cups of tea and his painstaking soul-filling love for her. The tragedy underscored this tribute to love and the difficulty of loss that is inevitable when we have loved so deeply.
Have you listened to any of John Augustine Moran’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No, but I have seen his other work and he has reached new heights with this work!
I received a copy of this audiobook for review.
This collection consists of 3 stories, each with a paranormal element, or some seeming to have more of a mental health element. I did enjoy the first story quite a bit - a story of an elderly man having tea with his deceased wife. Or was he? Can't know for sure but it was a sweet story of him continuing to remember her with her special tea. Plus, I'm a fan of Lady Gray myself.
The second was kind of interesting because of the little angel that was found by a family and lived with them for some time. I suppose both the family and the angel learned some lessons during that time.
The third one I didn't care for. It definitely seemed more of a mental health issue than a possible haunting.
The audio narrator was good and I enjoyed his voices, though the music was kind of unnecessary for the stories.
Short stories are hard to review due to their brevity. I can't say these stories leave a lasting impact but my curiosity was piqued when I was approached to give these a listen.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would recommend it to certain friends, the sensitive and adventurous among them. The stories are unpredictable and well written.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I can't say which character I like best. I like them differently.
What does John Augustine Moran bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I like to read, but John's reading was a bonus. A fine actor in my living room.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I was moved by more than one, certainly, but I keep coming back to Deidre's tea.
Any additional comments?
I think I'll listen again.