book review, short story

Midnight in the Garden of Naughty & Nice by David Rae

A collection of 12 previously published flash fiction stories that give an insight into a fictional life that David Rae might have led.

The first four stories in the collection – Poor Frank, My Secret Formula, Romans, Rabbits and Golf Clubs, and The Rowan Hoop – relate the author’s possible childhood, including hunting rabbits, locking his younger brother in the car boot, the school term he spent as a girl, and the time he used gardening to protect his family from a witch.

A Cat Called Bassie and the title story, Midnight in the Garden of Naughty and Nice, detail the benefits of a feline girlfriend.

The Gruesome End of Mr Todd, Fog Boys, The Whopper and I Dare You all take a surreal turn into cloud people, tall tales, the importance of brothers, and the unfortunate consequences of illiteracy in foxes.

The final story in the collection, Blackbirds, returns to autobiographical verisimilitude with the tale of a man’s life from boyhood to middle age, framed through the appearance of blackbirds nesting in his garden. It’s a bitter sweet, yet appropriate end to the volume.

A quick read, the stories in this collection are bound to make you laugh and cry as the author chronicles the ages of man, from childhood through to finding love, having a family and finally through to old age. Despite witches and magic, the strongest theme in these stories is of family, depicting the comfortable love/hate relationship we have between siblings, parents, extended family and ourselves.

My favorite story in the collection is Midnight in the Garden of Naughty and Nice, showing the redemptive power of love.

I award Midnight in the Garden of Naughty & Nice

Midnight in the Garden of Naughty & Nice is available for $1.29 ebook and $3.99 print book on Amazon.

9 thoughts on “Midnight in the Garden of Naughty & Nice by David Rae”

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