Review: Potluck

BY Vanathi IN Anthology, B NO COMMENTS YET

Anthology. Grade: B

Short stories that have enticed me are very few in number. On multiple occasions, reading short stories have made me realize that not all authors can write a good short story, even if he/she has accomplished a lot in other fields of literature. This is mainly because short stories provide less avenues of convincing the readers purely because they need to be short.  This means that the author needs to decide the right amount of content that doesn’t make the story long but at the same time, persuade the reader with this limited content so that the story is etched in the back of their mind for some time. And this is precisely why I am a little wary of short stories.


When I chose this little non-descript looking book, the prejudicial me expected this book to be just another set of mild and impact less stories that I wouldn’t remember after sometime. But boy, did it pleasantly surprise me with some really good stories! When you read the introduction on the back cover, you get to know that the writers are mainly working mothers, single women, senior executives, a Catholic priest, a monk from ISKCON, and a writer from Slovenia, who are all a part of the Critique Group. That’s some mix, right? And the book is a potpourri of different plots and characters too. That’s why, I am guessing, the name Potluck – for the variety in it.

With 26 short stories (two stories per author), ranging from a page to a dozen, the book will cater to your likings because the language is smooth, fluent and effortless while the narrative is free-flowing and excellent, irrespective of the authors. The 13 authors were members of Ms. Renu Balakrishnan’s creative writing workshop and are from thoroughly diverse backgrounds, which is evident in the stories.  My personal favorites would be Aby Sam Thomas and Marija Sres, who through their definitive writing immediately caught my admiration.  I found the story “Balloons”, the best in this book and would love to read more from the author Aby Sam Thomas. Similarly, “The Seamstress’s Story” left me pondering for quite some time after I finished the book. Most of the stories are relatable and instantly makes you take a liking to them. With 250 pages, you will also find this book a quick read.

This book has it all – drama, tragedy, romance and suspense! The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” holds true here! Definitely pick this up if you are looking for an interesting weekend read.

About Vanathi

Love Books and can't live without them. Love to read, bake and paint!