Faith in a Flash by Kelvin M. Knight | Book Review

Faith in a Flash book cover

Faith in a Flash is a collection of flash fiction in which each snappy, 100-word tale explores aspects of faith and religion. Many of the stories are set in or near churches, but even those which don’t are intrinsically linked with worship and belief. The stories are divided into fifteen chapters, each of which has a central theme such as Charity, Forgiveness, Darkness, Peacefulness and Hope.

I’m an atheist, but I was Christened as a baby and dutifully said my hymns and made occasional visits to the local church over the course of my years at my Church of England primary school. Although religion has played a small part in my life, I was unsure how well I’d be able to relate to Faith in a Flash since I am not a regular or even an infrequent churchgoer these days. However, I soon found I had little to worry about.

While I may not be someone who turns to faith in times of struggle like so many of Knight’s characters, that didn’t mean I couldn’t relate to them. Their hopes, fears, happiness, sadness, self-doubt, guilt – all of their emotions – were communicated so skilfully that connecting with them was effortless. They felt so very real, as though I was seeing snippets from other lives.

Knight packs a punch with each story, cramming powerful emotions and vivid settings into neat 100-word packages. His prose is beautifully written, and he has a true skill for saying so much with so few words. I found that Knight’s words forced my mind to conjure up fond memories of the little church that was my local when I grew up: singing about fluffy cauliflowers at the harvest festival, receiving an orange impaled with a candle and spiked with raisins and dolly mixture sweets at Christingle, listening to the off-key warble of my fellow students echo through the chilly church during a Christmas play rehearsal. It left me feeling all warm and nostalgic.

All in all, Faith in a Flash is a unique and impactful collection, very skilfully written. The quality of writing and storytelling makes this book a wonderful read, no matter your stance on faith.

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