Title: Down On The Other Street (Volume One)
Author Name: Jennifer Cie
Publication Date & Length: July 29, 2014 – 134 pgs
Long winded, unemployed, and timid, on the first date Brendan Bloom is already in love. Comfortably arched over his body, Ryan contemplates murder. Cold, necklace gleaming against the pale tint of her collarbone, the passenger could have mercy. Not a little black book, but a faded love letter out from under the sheets. Some romances ignite on sight, others flare at the base of waterless tubs soaked in agitation. Rooted in the South, this collection of short stories delivers five electric confessions of love, sexuality, and identity across time.
I was hooked immediately from the first story in this collection. Most are written in a somewhat unusual style, first person but directed at a particular individual who is referred to in the second person. It created an intimate, personal feel to the tales.
Sometimes, I felt like the author was writing my own story; sometimes it was wildly different. These are the words I wish I’d been reading when I was young and needed to find other people with my feelings. I connected at a deep level with the characters.
My favorite story, for my own personal reasons, was the first one. However, I loved them all for the variety and intensity.
Scars dripping over broken skin and whispers silenced, there can be no point of return. Wrapped in the ripples of warm waters, staring down at unkempt mountains, Stefanie can feel the thrum of the old world’s song. The first conversation, stained into ceramic cups and shadows in the night, gave birth to the last confession. Before metal bars clanged shut or chanting grew quiet, there was the woman with the violet smile. Somewhere in the gaggle of exposed bodies, worn cassettes and children’s fairy tales, he is waiting for the red coat. Woven together through trials of sexuality, political dissonance, and self-discovery, this heady collection of six short stories examines who we become after finding love.