A Sextet of Shorts by Chris Hall | Book Review

A Sextet of Shorts by Chris Hall book cover

This short but ever-so-sweet collection of little tales is a wonderful way to idle away a lazy afternoon, and the perfect introduction to Hall’s work if you’re new to her writing.

It opens with a tension-packed story called “The Day the Soldiers Came” and ends with “A New Friend for Henry”, an adorable tale about an old cat who is forced to adapt to a new little sister. This is testament to the versatile nature of Hall’s writing; she can pen tense drama just as skilfully as sweet animal adventures.

My favourites in the collection are “Dying with Determination” and “Daisy”. The first is a moving tale about a woman who is asked by her sick mother to help her die with dignity. It’s wrought with emotion as the protagonist must figure out the ethics of the situation and choose to do what’s right, both for her mother and for herself.

“Daisy” is wholly different; it’s about a seedy politician who is accosted by a man with a fearsome robotic cow and forced to reveal shady secrets about the inner workings of the council. It’s hilarious and terrifying and somehow incredibly uplifting to see a dodgy politician get his comeuppance.

My biggest problem with A Sextet of Shorts? It’s not long enough. Nowhere near. I’d like more. But at least I can read more of Hall’s wonderfully eclectic stories on her website to keep me sated!

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